DPM Maelanga calls for greater collaboration amongst PNA members
The Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Hon Manasseh Maelanga (MP) calls for greater collaboration amongst PNA member countries to advance tuna fisheries development in the region.
Hon Maelanga made the call at the 3rd Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Leaders’ Summit that was convened in Kiritimati (Christmas) Islands in the Republic of Kiribati from 26-27th October 2023.
Hon Maelanga reiterated that the PNA countries share a unique bond and dependency on the ocean and as such highlighted the importance of working together through concerted efforts in order to secure the sustainable future of invaluable tuna resources within the PNA waters.
Hon. Maelanga applauds the PNA for some of its commercial programmes such as the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), the purchase of and investment in the Fisheries Information Management System; the successful operations by the PNA Observer Agency, one of the largest fisheries observer programmes in the world and the extension of the Marine Stewardship Council certification of the sustainability of the PNA purse seine fishery.
Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Maelanga also recognized and acknowledged that there is still potential for tuna fisheries in the PNA to drive economic growth and enhance the well-being of its members. He highlighted that the ‘East New Britain Initiative’ that is led by PNG to create fisheries hubs and the Pacific Islands Tuna Initiative with Walmart is a classic example.
Hon. Maelanga also mentioned that Solomon Islands will be discussing with potential partners within PNA in the development of its second onshore processing plant at Bina Harbour in Malaita province.
In his address, the Deputy Prime Minister also cautioned the PNA members not to be complacent to some of the common challenges ahead, obviously being the threat from climate change. Hon Maelanga said “climate change is the single biggest threat to our fisheries. Its impacts will certainly have negative impacts on our fish and their habitats”.
Hon. Maelanga also registered Solomon Islands’ disappointment by Japan’s decision to discharge over a million tons of treated nuclear waste water into the ocean. In expressing Solomon Islands’ disappointment, Hon. Maelanga said ‘this is a transboundary and intergenerational issue that will certainly pose high risk and serious negative environmental impact to our ocean and to the value and stock of our tuna fishery’. Hon. Maelanga also reiterated that as parties to the Treaty of Raratonga and other non-nuclear proliferation, the PNA members should remain firm in their stand against Japan’s decision to discharge the nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.
Following the Summit, the Leaders were transported to the Paris Islands in Christmas Islands for the Leaders retreat. The 3rd PNA Leaders’ Summit Communique was signed and adopted by Leaders in the evening during the closing dinner hosted by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development on Christmas Islands.
Solomon Islands is one of the Member parties to the PNA including the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Tokelau with its Headquarter in Majuro, Marshall Islands.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Maelanga was accompanied by the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Nestor Giro and other senior government officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.