Updates from PNA Tuna Market Int issue 59

How will your country celebrate World Tuna Day?

There are ideas and plans coming together in the Marshall Islands for World Tuna Day, including poke recipe and tuna filleting competitions. For students there will be song, poetry, poster, drama and video opportunities. World Tuna Day corresponds nicely with the RMI Constitution Day and so don’t be surprised to see tuna featured in their parade and festival booth.

It would be great to find out what other countries are doing on May 2nd to celebrate “Smart Tuna – Smart Ocean.” PNA looks for World Tuna Day 2018 to be big and look for your creative ideas and pictures to help spread the word – globally. Please send them to worldtunaday@pnatuna.com

Meanwhile, if you are an educator, here’s a tip: Go to https://fishandkids.msc.org/en/teachers and find their free resources. They are sure to be a good start in helping students from 5 to 12 years of age learn about how to be smart with respect to both their tuna and their ocean.

World Tuna Day has been celebrated since 2011 when the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) declared May 2nd a holiday to honor the importance of tuna. In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly elevated the occasion by designating a resolution, making World Tuna Day a global holiday to honor and “highlight the importance of sustainably managed fish stocks in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

PNA’s ‘Smart Tuna – Smart Ocean’ Art and Talent Quest Competition

Using art, music, dance, poetry, film or drama, PNA invites you to share your vision of this year’s theme: “Smart Tuna-Smart Ocean” as the world gets ready to celebrate the 7th World Tuna Day, May 2, 2018.


  • $3,000 (USD) cash prize award to one first place winner. The winner’s work will be posted on the PNA website.
  • $500 (USD) cash prize awards to two runners-up. The runners-ups’ work will be posted on the PNA website.

Judging Criteria:

  • Does the submitted work fit the theme “Smart Tuna – Smart Ocean?”
  • Is there a creative, original interpretation of the subject/theme?

Contest Rules:

  • This Competition is open to all artists of all ages who are residents and/or citizens of the PNA-member countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu plus Tokelau.
  • Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution.
  • Films may be no longer than 20 minutes in length.
  • Submissions cannot be returned.
  • All artwork must be submitted by April 17, 2018. Artwork may be submitted in one of the following ways:
    • Tuna World Day, c/o PNAO, PO Box 3992, Majuro, MH 96960
    • worldtunaday@pnatuna.com  (make sure that digital submissions are no larger than 25 mb For details regarding submission of video, contact PNA).
  • By entering this competition, you grant PNAO/Pacifical non-exclusive perpetual license to reproduce images of your entry on the PNA and Pacifical websites, as well as the marketing of the World Tuna Day to the general public. All winning entries will be displayed on the PNAtuna website. Each entry becomes part of the public historical/archival online contest catalog.

Contact: For questions and further details contact PNA at rebecca@pnatuna.com

World Tuna Day is a great opportunity to explore steps that can make a lasting impact in supporting sustainable, legal fishing industry practices. We look forward to your submission!

PNA’s Longline Vessel Day Scheme

The PNA Longline Vessel Day Scheme (LL  VDS) has been in the works for a long time. The Scheme has been in effect since 2014 when five members signed a memorandum of understanding; currently there are eight LL VDS participating parties.

As of February 2018, 291 longline vessels were registered on PNA’s VDS Register. But formal implementation of the LL VDS has proven to be trickier than the Purse Seine VDS, which has been so successful for PNA.

The more than 2,000 long liners that fish the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) fish for bigeye, albacore and yellowfin and fish more than 60% of their effort on the high seas. Some longline vessels are equipped to be out for long periods, up to a year at a time. They bunker, provision, and sometimes change crew on the high seas, and travel distances that takes them to and through different nations’ EEZs. Because of their ability to stay out and function without coming to port, it is difficult to keep longliners accountable. Less than 5% of the longliners have observers on board and few report data. Longline fisheries typically have a high by-catch (catching of non-target species including turtles, seabirds, sharks and other finfish) rate and there are concerns regarding how this is handled. There are further issues including their adherence to garbage disposal rules and more.

The LL VDS participants are currently at different stages of selling VDS days to longliners but the VDS Administrator’s Report for 2017 highlighted fishing days usage at approximately 25% of their total available days.  Another hurdle for the Parties involves the fishing opportunities and measures outside of the Participants’ EEZs that may complicate participants’ full implementation of the LL VDS.   One participant reported at the recent Annual Meeting of the Parties in Nauru that requiring full implementation (more rigorously than the other LL VDS participants) has come with a cost; vessels that were fishing in their respective waters have moved their operations.  So they look for strength from their PNA partners, looking for them to tackle the longline VDS system as aggressively as they do, and to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to officially recognize the LL VDS.

Pacifical seeks intern from Palau

Pacifical is offering a unique opportunity to an enthusiastic person to join the Pacifical Sales & Market Development Department as an intern for three months and work within a small team to share creative ideas in achieving Pacifical’s goals. Our first intern was from RMI and we recently welcomed our second intern, this time from Nauru. The scheme will continue to be expanded PNA wide, offering a series of 3-month internships in the future. In this occasion, we are looking for a citizen from Palau to join us at the Pacifical Headquarters in the Netherlands for a fruitful Marketing & Sales internship.

The selected candidate will be European based and understudying the Pacifical sales, market development and marketing team members in all stages of Pacifical’s campaigns to develop, expand and maintain Pacifical global market channels and supply chains for PNA-caught MSC certified free-school tuna.

The Pacifical intern will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire valuable hands-on knowledge and marketing and commercial business skills & strategies required to become successful in any fast paced international work environment.

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2018.

For additional information and details of how to apply go to Pacifical’s website at www.pacifical.com.

Nauru’s Christent is ready to learn about tuna the Pacifical way

Pacifical has welcomed its second PNA-member intern. Christent Rokobuli from Nauru has had just enough time to unpack her bags, be introduced to the Pacifical team and write her first blog. In her first report titled, 14,000 km Away From Home, she says, “On my first day at the Pacifical Headquarters I was greeted with smiles and welcoming gestures. I was given time to look into some work ethics, see relevant websites, familiarize myself with my fellow colleagues, and start learning about the tuna industry (wow!).” To read Christsent’s blog in full and to see her pretty picture, go to https://pacificalinsider.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/week-1-14000-km-away-from-home/

Glen Joseph works on Compliance Monitoring Scheme

Glen Joseph, Director for the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA), has agreed to head an Intercession Working Group (IWG) for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFC’s) Compliance Monitoring Scheme (CMS).

The WCPFC is an international organization that creates Conservation Management Measures (CMMs) to establish and sustain effective management, conservation and sustainability of highly migratory fish stocks, including tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). There are 23 members as well as cooperating non-members that collectively range from small Pacific Island nations to large distant water fishing nations such as Korea, China, Japan and the US; a large range of membership with very different agendas.

CMS is an assessment measure that the Commission uses to rate the compliance of their members. As a starting point, Joseph is encouraging everyone to read the 150 page CMS review, while considering practical and prioritizing issues and elements for assessments.  Since inception, the commission has adopted over 40 measures, and depending on status, as a coastal state, port state, flag state, observer provider, etc., there are obligations expected of the commission. When the CMS was first developed, it was also created to be a capacity building tool, but Joseph says that it has become a tool for members to point fingers at each other, and that it is “not a level playing field,” while also placing disproportionate burden on the small island nations.  He also feels that the current CMS has actually led to negative effects including being used to justify non-compliance.

Joseph encouraged stakeholders to read the document and submit comments, which were due March 31. From there he will compile the comments and make recommendations. Joseph see this as an opportunity, if done holistically, to rectify some issues on the current CMS and will present a draft plan in Pohnpei next December.

PNA welcomes Tokelau as it celebrates recertification

As PNA celebrates its MSC recertification of its free-school skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery, it welcomes the tiny New Zealand territory of Tokelau, which now is officially part of the certification.

Tokelau has been a cooperative member of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement since 2012. One of the most remote places on Earth, Tokelau is comprised of three small atolls with 1,500 inhabitants but it has a large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of roughly 318,990 square kilometers. Adding their EEZ to those of the eight PNA Parties brings the collective PNA EEZ close to 15 million square kilometers.

PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru remarked, “We welcome the tiny territory of Tokelau, whose Exclusive Economic Zone has been used to enhance the MSC unit of certification. This is massive for this tiny economy which is almost exclusively reliant on tuna revenues for income.”
SustainPacFish: FFA’s new portal

The Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has created SustainPacFish, a “one-stop portal of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project, to help those involved or interested in managing and conserving the Pacific’s fisheries.” The portal boasts the latest information on activities and progress towards achieving conservation management measures for the Western and Central Pacific fisheries with menu options that include fish stocks, catch and harvest, economics, compliance, observers and bycatch.

FFA director James Movick says the portal summarizes information from other sites and provides links to other websites operated by the FFA, Pacific Community (SPC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The project was funded by the Global Environment Fund.

SustainPacFish can be accessed at: http://www.sustainpacfish.net/home.

Tuna transshipments in Majuro

Tuna transshipment in Port Majuro saw a big jump in March compared to the first two months of the year.

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority reported this week that there were 47 transshipment operations during March, more than in both January and February combined. The first two months saw 18 and 19 transshipments, respectively. Port Majuro has been a major hub for tuna transshipments over the past several years. But even with the high use of the capital by purse seine fishing vessels to off-load their tuna, the monthly totals often fluctuate dramatically from month to month. The off-loadings average in the neighborhood of 700 metric tons each.

The first three months of 2018 have seen 84 transshipments, giving Majuro an average of 28 per month. The monthly average in 2017 was 39 transshipments.

Eating seafood sustainably

Manila completed their third Sustainable Seafood Week with a showcasing of creative ways to eat sustainable seafood by hotel members.

GMA News Online relates, “Sustainable Seafood Week is an initiative led by sustainable seafood distributor Meliomar, Inc. that started in 2015. It is both a celebration of best practices in fisheries and a campaign to raise awareness on the problems plaguing the Philippine seas.”

The event was devoted to teaching consumers that their voice matters, that their choices drive buying decisions of retail market and restaurant suppliers.

Helpful advice for the consumer includes asking where the seafood comes from and making sure it is from a traceable, sustainable source. Eating adult fish that are not endangered/overfished species and that are certified by MSC or other Fishery Improvement Programs is prudent. Finally, if wrongdoing is observed, it needs to be reported.

Meanwhile, consumer demand versus retailer responsibility was addressed in a recent Atuna article where more than half of their readers shared they felt the retailer was the responsible party for how much certified sustainable tuna was available on the shelves.  But one consumer nailed it on the head by replying, “The conservation of tuna stocks and their ecosystems must be an interest and responsibility of all.”


Send us your tips to rebecca@pnatuna.com


Tuna Market Intelligence is an independent publication, sponsored by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to unearth industry and market information from Pacific Island reporters and analysts. Reprint in the media from the PNA countries is free. All other reprints must be authorized. Contact us on marketintel@pnatuna.com or see more on www.pnatuna.com