Author Archives: norma-admin

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Importance and Urgency of Competent Authority in the FSM

Category : Press Releases


Fishing Companies Reiterate the Importance and Urgency of Competent Authority in the FSM

With the introduction of the Vessel Day Scheme and the annual increases in fishing access fees, fishing companies accessing FSM’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have expressed greater interest in establishing tuna processing plants in the FSM in order to qualify for special considerations on access fees and reduce operational costs.

The NORMA Board met with several companies with proposals to establish cold storage facilities in Kosrae as well as loin processing plants in both Kosrae and Pohnpei. It is anticipated that these projects would generate 150-800 employees.

In all the presentations given, the common message from the fishing companies was the critical need and urgency to have a Competent Authority for IUU and Health Safety established in the FSM. Most of the distant water nation fleets fishing in the region export their catch to the EU market, which is currently the most lucrative market for fish products. Companies who have voiced their interest in investing in the FSM are among those fleet. They all stressed during the meeting that their investments would be contingent upon the establishment of the CA. The CA for IUU and Health and Food Safety are market access requirements set by the EU for Countries that wish to export fish into its market. The CA ensures that fish exported into the EU are sustainably caught and are safe for consumption. The only Countries in the Pacific region that have managed to establish a CA are PNG, Fiji, and recently, the small island nation of Kiribati. With the growing interest to invest in the fisheries sector in the FSM, it is imperative that a CA be established soon. NORMA, with support from World Bank under the PROP Project and assistance from New Zealand under a Technical Assistance Project, aims to achieve that within two years.

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FSM Surveillance & Fisheries Satellite Monitoring Training

Category : Press Releases

FSM NORMA| Oct. 27, 2017

FSM Surveillance & Fisheries Satellite Monitoring Training

On October 9, 2017, staff from the FSM Department of Justice (DOJ) Maritime Surveillance Wing and the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) gathered at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Annex Building for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) training. The week-long training, conducted by experts from the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, allowed FSM’s maritime enforcement officers and fisheries compliance staff to upgrade their skills on use of the Regional Satellite Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). The VMS is one of the key MCS tools utilized by FFA members to monitor fishing vessels in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

The training was officially opened by NORMA Executive Director, Mr. Eugene Pangelinan, who noted that continual upgrading of systems and skills are essential to an effective fisheries management regime. Mr. Pangelinan highlighted the significant work in fisheries management that has been accomplished over the past decade as a result of the VMS and encouraged participants to absorb as much knowledge as they could from the regional FFA experts as well as FSM’s own in-country experts, VMS Officers Mr. Justino Helgen from NORMA and Mr. Whylik Alfons from DOJ. The training was part of a series of MCS exercises that the FSM requested as part of its Country Service Agreement with FFA and an in-country roll-out of the recently upgraded VMS. Training participants expressed their appreciation for the timeliness and relevance of the training to the FSM, which would aid in carrying out daily MCS tasks, providing policy advice and planning maritime operational activities. The VMS training focused on teaching officers the functionality of various modules on the new VMS Trackwell System and how to operate it to combat, prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in FSM’s multi-million dollar generating EEZ.

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Regional Observer Training

Category : Press Releases


A Regional Observer Training was conducted in Pohnpei at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Annex Building from the 31st of July to 1st of September 2017 with 14 trainee’s representing the following countries; Cook Islands-1, Federated States of Micronesia-10, Tuvalu-2 and Nauru-1.  The training was spear head by Mr. Siosifa Fukofuka (SPC observer trainer) as the lead trainer, Ricky Narruhn (FSM observer trainer) trainer assistant, Alwyn Yeadian (PNG observer trainer) trainer assistant, Tosuo Irons Jr. (FSM observer debriefer) and Fransisco Sigrah (FSM observer debriefer) training attachment.

The training course consisted of basic first aid by Micronesia Red Cross Society, Sea Safety by the FSM Maritime Surveillance and Fire Safety by the Pohnpei Aircraft Rescue and Fire-fighting crew.  The observer trainee’s then underwent a full Pacific Island Regional Fisheries Observer (PIRFO) training course which covers all observer data forms for each vessel gear type, special projects (tag recovery, biological sampling), navigation, observer code of conduct, species identification for tuna, sharks, billfish and other by-catch species among a wide variety of fisheries topics.

The PIRFO standards and assessment passing mark is 75% for every PIRFO subject and the 10 FSM trainees passed the course with trainee Christopher Moore of Pohnpei topping the class.  The other FSM trainee’s are; Peterson Suwei (Yap), Nene E. Nena (Kosrae ), Sapal Aron (Kosrae), Franky Kustin (Pohnpei), Johnny Boyd Joseph (Pohnpei), Merol Panuel (Pohnpei), Yasuro Solomon (Pohnpei), Jeffrey Weilbacher (Pohnpei) and Brian Rizana (Pohnpei).  The non-FSM trainee’s are; Auora Jimmy Mataora (Cook Islands), Rodney Kepasi (Tuvalu), Vaitiu Talia (Tuvalu) and Cheney Detudamo (Nauru).

FSM-NORMA would like to thank SPC, FFA, PNA, WCPFC, Micronesia Red Cross Society, FSM Maritime Surveilance, Pohnpei Aircraft Rescue and Fire-fighting for their collaborative support and assistance to help train our fisheries observers to continue to be effective guardians of our marine resources in the FSM Exclusive Economic Zone and other respective fishing zones.

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FSM arrests first alleged violator of its expanded fishing exclusion zone

Category : Press Releases

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
August 21, 2017
FSM—The Federated States of Micronesia has filed a complaint for civil damages and forfeiture against a fishing company, a vessel, and the ship’s captain for allegedly violating the FSM’s new 24 mile fishing exclusion zone expanded from 12 miles. The enabling legislation to expand the exclusion zone was a drive to exclude 10 percent of FSM’s waters from fishing. The law is so new that the FSM Supreme Court couldn’t find it in its code. The FSM Department of Justice had to supply a copy of the relevant FSM code.
Defendants are Wang Sheng, Liancheng Overseas Fishery (Shenzen) Company, Ltd. And the vessel Shne Lian Chang 881 along with all of the vessel’s “fishing gear, furniture, appurtenances, stores and cargo.”
The complaint alleges that the defendants fished on August 7, 9 and 10 within 22 nautical miles of Losap Atoll in Chuuk State.
The FSM has asked for the maximum fine penalty of $50,000 for each of the alleged violations for a total of $150,000. They have also asked the court to require that the vessel and all of its contents be forfeited to the FSM.
On August 21, the FSM stipulated to a bond agreement of $165,000 for deposit to the court, to release the vessel and all of the fish on board. The FSM considered the amount to be a suitable bond until hearings can take place and rulings entered.