By SHEILA LASIBORI
PAPAU New Guinea and the Philippines are waiting to know if the European Union has included them on its list as per the illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) regulation 1005/2008.
The IUU Regulation 1005/2008 came into effect on New Year’s Day. Through the regulation, the European Union (EU) aimed at improving traceability of all fishery products traded with the EU.
NFA managing director Sylvester Pokajam said they had written to EU on the listing of NFA and the Philippine fishing body, and that they were waiting to be advised by EU this month if they had been listed.
He said by last Tuesday and Wednesday, PNG and the Philippines had sorted out issues concerning the memorandum of agreement (MoA) that exists between them, and so EU should now list them.
“In our opinion, I do not know why we are not listed … we have addressed all issues,” Mr Pokajam.
The NFA chief was especially concerned that although PNG was not within the IUU state or the IUU fishing areas, it was still not being listed.
Mr Pokajam also said NFA had a transparent and effective system in dealing with the fishing industry especially those with having to do with licensing and other regulatory activities, and dealt with a small number of fishing vessels and companies China, Taiwan, and Indonesia, among others, EU was still yet to list PNG.
Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand reported that an office had been opened in the Marshall Islands for an organisation to help oversee part of the region’s fisheries.
The parties to the nauru agreement (PNA) office in Majuro was set up last Friday and was to have as its interim director General Dr Transform Aqorau, who has been working for the parent body, the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) as deputy director general in Solomon Islands.
Most of the tuna caught in the region is taken in the waters of the PNA countries, which include the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
Dr Aqorau says these countries want to take greater control of the region’s tuna fisheries by ensuring that they are managed effectively, and also by ensuring that their citizens enjoy the economic gains from the resources.
Mr Pokajam also said NFA had identified a consultant in PNG who will travel to Majuro to help set up the office and assist Dr Aqorau who starts work on Jan 19.
He said the office was set up with proceeds from the FSM Arrangements that are to cater for countries to participate in fisheries’ domestic development aspirations.