|Palau signs Niue Treaty|
Palau has become the first nation to sign a treaty amongst all Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency members, aimed at strengthening cooperative surveillance and enforcement activities.
Palau’s Director Bureau of Oceanic Fishery Management, Nannette Malsol, signed the Agreement on Strengthening Implementation of the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the Pacific Region (the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement) at the FFA Headquarters in Honiara today.
“This is a landmark achievement for our region and furthers our efforts to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries as a source of income and food for our people now and into the future,” Ms Malsol said.
“As such I would like to thank the FFA and members for concluding this important Agreement within the timeframe established by our Leaders.”
The Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement is aimed at enhancing active participation in cooperative surveillance and enforcement activities by providing a framework for the Parties to share resources and exchange information, including fisheries data and intelligence.
The Agreement is a direct response to the recognition by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders on the significance of fisheries resource as a major source of food and income for the Pacific people and the Leaders’ call in the 2007 Vava’u Declaration on Pacific Fisheries: Our Fish, Our Future of the need to strengthen the current surveillance and enforcement mechanisms to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU fishing) to protect the region’s fisheries.
The final text of the Subsidiary Agreement was adopted and opened for signature on Friday November 2nd and Palau becomes the first full signatory.
FFA Director-General Designate, James Movick, congratulated Palau for taking the lead in being the first FFA member to sign the Agreement and looked forward to working closely with Palau on its implementation.
“This Agreement further enhances our goal of providing an effective monitoring, control and surveillance which is the foundation from which we will be able to support robust fisheries management measures that will enable the maximisation of returns from our fisheries resource.
“Palau’s signing of the Treaty signifies their strong commitment not only to its people but to the region as a whole in our collective effort to protect our fisheries.” he said.
In 1992, the members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) adopted the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific (Niue Treaty). The objective of the Niue Treaty is to enhance regional coordination and cooperation in fisheries surveillance and law enforcement, and increase the ability of Pacific Island countries to effectively enforce their fisheries laws. The Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement strengthens the implementation of the Niue Treaty by providing for flexible cooperation in a broad range of activities and the sharing of fisheries data and intelligence for fisheries purposes as well as broader law enforcement purposes.
All members of the FFA are Parties to the Niue Treaty being Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement shall enter into force after 4 members have ratified this Agreement.