Category Archives: Press Releases

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Importance and Urgency of Competent Authority in the FSM

Category : Press Releases

FSM NORMA

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.


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Public Forum

Category : Press Releases

The National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) invites the General Public to a Public Forum on Fisheries Management and Development in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Venue: COM-FSM MITC Room

Time: 12:30PM to 1:30PM

 

Agenda:

  1. Welcome Remarks
  2. Status of the Key Tuna Stocks in FSM
  3. The Vessel Day Scheme
  4. Fisheries Development Activities in FSM
  5. Monitoring and Compliance
    1. Observers
    2. Vessel Monitoring System
  6. Questions and Answers Session
  7. Close of Forum

Please Join Us for this Public Forum! Thank you!


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NORMA ADOPTS PAPERLESS BOARD MEETINGS

Category : Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE

FSM – The Board of Directors of the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is supporting new measures at the Authority to adopt new technologies to improve on its ever challenging work to manage FSM’s oceanic fisheries resources.

Board members and stakeholder meeting.

“We recognize that the technology exists today to improve how we do our business and make NORMA decision making more streamlined and efficient while at the same time, being environmentally friendly. Many of our counterparts in the fisheries industry are adopting new technologies to become more efficient in harvesting our valuable resources and we on the management side must keep pace or even be a step ahead to ensure sustainability of our tuna resources, especially through better management and use of technology and access to relevant information and data.” Says Mr. Roger Arnold, Chairman of the NORMA Board of Directors.

One of the first measures to be implemented involves the Board members as they are shifting to paperless meetings by fully utilizing the internet and laptops provided by FSM NORMA as part of its World Bank-funded PROP Project.  This helps with the Authority’s environmental goals as well as its effort to improve on information management whereby much of the Authority’s work and processes are being automated.

“The ability of staff to collect, process data and information and pass on to the Board can be greatly improved with these laptops,” says Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan, “and certainly more so when Board of Directors are from all four States of the FSM.  The laptops will be used during official NORMA meetings, removing the need to print hundreds of pages each meeting and for communicating with our Board on a regular basis and maintaining better records of our business transactions.

While the Board has been conducting paperless meetings for most of this year, the laptops will be issued at their next meeting during a negotiations meeting with bilateral partners.


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FSM and Japan Sign New Ten Year Fishing Agreement

Category : Press Releases

Colonia, Yap

At their annual fisheries consultations in Yap between the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) and Japan last June 21-27, 2017 in Colonia, Yap, a landmark ten year fishing agreement was reached between FSM and Japan. This is the second ten year agreement between FSM and Japan. The new agreement grants access to the FSM EEZ by Japanese fishing vessels on an annual or multi-year basis. Under the new agreement, NORMA and Japan must meet annually to negotiate the terms and conditions for fishing on an annual or multi-year basis and these terms and conditions would be implemented through memorandums of agreements with the three fisheries associations. Three memorandums of agreements were reached to license purse seine, longline and pole and line vessels over the next three.

The new agreement includes the requirement that all fishing vessels carry adequate insurance coverage in the event of maritime accidents in the FSM. In addition, the pole and line group will work to develop employment opportunities for FSM nationals to work on their vessels in the near future. The purse seine group already employs more than 50 FSM nationals on their vessels.  Implementing the longline vessel day scheme with Japan a priority for FSM. Incentives were built in to get more longliners to transship in FSM ports which could result in significant economic benefits. The agreed annual financial package between FSM and Japan annually is approximately $22.9 million for 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“FSM and Japan have enjoyed a very long and mutually beneficial relationship that spans decades and this new agreement marks a new era of fisheries relations with Japan. It again provides for greater economic cooperation between our two countries to achieve both our political and economic aspirations” say Roger Arnold, Chairman of NORMA”.


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Pacific Beat: PNG fishing observer’s disappearance raises serious safety concerns for officers at sea

Category : Press Releases

“Ministers and officials meeting in Queensland to discuss the future of the South Pacific albacore have been blown of course by the news that yet another Pacific fisheries observer has gone missing at sea.”

Read the full article from Pacific Beat.


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FSM NORMA Donates World Tuna Day Skirt Proceeds to ECE

Category : Press Releases

FSM NORMA
May 22, 2017

NORMA Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan, ECE Chief Arwelson Arpona and Representatives from the 5 WTD Participating ECE Centers.

An Outcome & Appreciation Ceremony was held on May 19, 2017 by the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority, during which Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan presented appreciation certificates to all involved in helping to make the FSM’s first World Tuna Day celebrations a success. The unofficial results of an event survey were presented at the gathering, which noted feedback in areas such as better timing, enhanced logistics and improved participation. The overall coordination of the event was reported in the survey as being excellent.

In official remarks, Executive Director Pangelinan expressed expectation that next year’s World Tuna Day event would be even bigger and better than this year’s event and that the Early Childhood Education Centers would continue to participate. Executive Director Pangelinan also indicated his shared hope with Vice President Yosiwo P. George, as expressed during his keynote address at the World Tuna Day Fair that, that as a way to improve on participation and timing of the event, efforts would be underway to work with the FSM Congress to make World Tuna Day an official FSM holiday. “We must improve on public awareness of this important resource. What better way to do that than to designate World Tuna Day as a legal holiday, so that everyone can participate in the celebrations?”

Among various contests held for World Tuna Day was a tuna-themed, locally tailored skirt or “urohs” competition. Submitted skirt designs were open to public viewing and judging by fair-goers, then auctioned live at the WTD fair. The live auction garnered $850, proceeds of which were divided equally among the five Pohnpei State Early Childhood Education Centers that participated in the WTD Fair and presented at the Outcome & Appreciation Ceremony. Accepting the certificates and donations on behalf of ECE were Mrs. Marmihner Pelep for Sapwalap ECE, Mrs. Rosalihna Rosario for ESDM ECE, Mrs. Arsenia Barnabas for Pehleng ECE, Ms. Dyna Amusten for Wone ECE and Mrs. Elise Ioanis for Wenik ECE. After receiving their donations, the ECE representatives presented a children’s song that they composed for their students for World Tuna Day, which referenced the importance of fish to our daily lives and how it is essential “from head to toe.”

Also present at the Outcome & Appreciation Ceremony were representatives from World Bank/PROP, FSM Vital Petrocorp, FSM Telecommunications, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Pohnpei Department of Health Services, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, Vice President’s Office, King’s Media Zone, Etscheit Enterprises, Jitters Coffee, Kaselehlie Press and volunteers from COM-FSM, all of whom contributed to a successful inaugural World Tuna Day Fair.

For more information or to participate in the World Tuna Day Feedback Survey, please contact the NORMA Office at (691) 320-2700, email Chief of Statistics, Compliance & Technical Projects Ms. Suzanne Lowe Gallen (suzanne.gallen@norma.fm) or visit the NORMA Facebook page.