Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Pacific Island countries take steps to implement migratory fish stock convention

Palikir, POHNPEI (NORMA/FSMIS): July 9, 2004 - A team of two consultants, Dr. Tony Lewis and Mr. Esaroma Ledua, visited Pohnpei from June 26 to July 1, 2004 to work on the design of a project to assist Pacific Island Countries to implement the Convention On The Conservation And Management Of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western And Central Pacific Ocean.

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) signed the Convention in Honolulu on September 5, 2000 and followed up with ratification on December 20, 2002.

This globally significant Convention entered into force on 19th June 2004. It provides a framework for the effective management of tuna and related species in the region. Using this framework, Pacific Island Countries and other countries in the broader Western and Central Pacific Ocean region, as well as fishing states, will cooperate to secure a sustainable future for what is by far the world's largest tuna fishery. This cooperation will enable economic and other benefits to flow to the Pacific islands for the benefit of present and future generations. The Convention seeks to achieve this in a way that will minimise the impacts of fishing including bycatch such as turtles and sharks, avoid pollution from fishing, and protect biodiversity.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has supported Pacific Island countries over the last four years in the preparation of the Convention, and then in work to establish the new regional fisheries commission, which is a central element of the new Convention. Now, GEF, the United Nations Development Programme, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme are collaborating in the design of a second phase of assistance to support Pacific Island Countries in the implementation of the Convention.

During their visit, Dr. Tony Lewis and Mr. Esaroma Ledua met with government and non-government stakeholders to assess the implications of the new Convention for FSM and identify ways in which the second phase of GEF assistance could assist FSM in the implementation of the Convention. Assistance in areas such as fisheries law, policy, compliance, and scientific assessment and monitoring will be considered.

For Further Information please contact:

Bernard Thoulag, Executive Director or
Patricia Jack, Information Specialist
National Oceanic Resource Management Authority
Tel: (691) 320-2700/5181
Fax: (691) 320-2383