Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), in late November 2019, completed the purchase of a fisheries information management system (FIMS) it says will aid in the effective management of fisheries in the region’s waters.
In 2018, the PNA said the FIMS “revolutionized management” of the tuna fishery. The PNA used the system for two years, before finally deciding to buy the system outright.
A new PNA-owned company, FIMS Inc., said it has made a “successful purchase of FIMS IP and support system.” According to a Radio New Zealand report, the FIMS cost PNA at least USD 10 million (EUR 8.9 million).
Before the FIMS, vessels operating in the PNA waters submitted their catch data, and other information, by email or fax. The new FIMS allows for real-time monitoring of the fishery, and much easier sharing of the information.
“This is the world’s first information platform that integrates fisheries management, compliance, and marketing,” NFA Vessel Monitoring System (VDS) Manager David Karis, who developed the web-based platform said in a statement.
The new system has a wide range of uses, including the ability to check vessel positions, review catch data uploaded by the industry, assist in verifying chain of custody, and more.
The program uses 16 management “portals,” which patrol boats can use to check vessel licenses during patrols at sea. In addition, companies can apply electronically for licenses through the portals.
PNA officials have called the system a “game-changer” because the PNA can receive incident reports in real-time.
FIMS “is a one-stop-shop for fisheries management,” Karis said in 2018, when the purchase wa still in the works. “It holds industry, government, and flag state information. No other system in the world brings together in one system these three most important parties for sustainable management of the fishery.”
While PNA is using the system on purse-seiners and FADs, in the future it will also expand it to the longline industry. Currently, it is being used on 240 purse-seiners, who are reporting catch data in real-time, daily, according to Karis.
The PNA is made up of eight Pacific Island countries that control the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery supplying 50 percent of the world’s skipjack tuna.
Photo courtesy of Naima Niemand/Shutterstock