Honiara, 12th June 2023: Acting Prime Minister Honourable Manasseh Maelanga has welcomed Fisheries Ministers and Officials to the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) at a dinner hosted last night in honour of the delegates as the 18th Annual Ministerial Meeting began on Monday 12th June on the theme “Sustainable tuna fisheries for our economic growth and development”.
Hon. Maelanga conveyed his pride to host the visiting delegates in recognition of the PNA’s valued contribution to the well-being of member countries and their peoples through economic and social benefits from the region’s tuna resources.
“Let me take this opportunity on behalf of my government and our people, to welcome you all to our humble happy Isles,” Maelanga said.
The Acting Prime Minister noted that the work of the PNA is critical to the sustainable management and development of the region’s fragile tuna and oceanic fisheries resources.
He also commended the PNA’s obligatory responsibility of ensuring the sound management of the region’s resources with determination through arrangements such as the PNA Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) that contributes significantly to increasing tuna revenue and other benefits over the years.
The VDS was home-grown and developed by past and present PNA Officials with critical support from the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
“This speaks volumes and can serve to remind the world that despite our smallness as small Island States, we can through cooperation, rise to the occasion, and create platforms to meet our needs. We can deliver on equal terms for the best of our people,” Maelanga said.
The Acting Prime Minister encouraged PNA Officials and respective member countries to continue working together to ensure the return from the region’s tuna resources is equal to the investments injected into the sustainable management of our tuna resources.
Maelanga expressed confidence that the future of PNA is optimistic in managing the region’s tuna resources with a vision to catch, process and export our own tuna.
“As leaders in the Tuna industry, my aspiration is for the PNA to reach a point where we fish, catch, process, and export our own fish. Let this be a focal point in your discussions this week,” Maelanga concluded.
PNA countries are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Tokelau with its Headquarter in Majuro, Marshall Islands. ENDS///