Category Archives: Press Releases

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Federated States of Micronesia registers its Maritime Treaties with the United Nations Secretariat

Category : Press Releases

FSM Permanent Mission to UN, New York

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, had on 4 August 2017, registered with the United Nations a Treaty between the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) concerning maritime boundaries and cooperation on related matters.  The Treaty signed in Majuro, the Capital of the RMI on 5 July 2006, came into force in accordance with its article 7 on 24 July 2015.

Two other treaties which the FSM Government had also entered into were also registered with the UN on 8 November 2017.  These include the Treaty with the Republic of Palau concerning maritime boundaries and cooperation on related matters, signed on 6 July 2005, also concluded in Majuro, and the Amended Treaty between the Federated States of Micronesia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning maritime boundaries and cooperation on related matters.  The amended treaty was signed in Port Moresby on 7 September 2015.

The treaties were registered by the FSM Government with the United Nations pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations which requires every treaty and every international agreement entered into by a Member of the United Nations to be registered with, and published by the Secretariat.   Article 102 further gives publicity to all treaties and international agreements subject to registration.

An additional treaty yet to be registered is that with the United States of America (US) for the maritime boundary between the FSM and Guam.  The registration is awaiting domestic ratification by the US.

The registration of the treaties is another significant achievement by the FSM in defining the extent of its maritime space. This followed FSM’s achievement in extending its normal continental shelf (seabed) beyond the limits of its Exclusive Economic Zone through the joint extended continental shelf submission to the United Nations by the FSM, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with respect to the Ontong Java Plateau.  The Ontong Java Plateau is a massive mountain range that lies beneath the high seas between the FSM, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

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Chinese firm showcases tuna catch after deal with Micronesia

Category : Press Releases

“Shenzhen Lian Cheng Yuan Yang Fishing Co., a major Chinese fishery firm, recently showcased its Pacific Islands-sourced tuna at a glitzy event in Guangzhou.”
Read more at Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association

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FSM To Host WCPFC 15

Category : Press Releases

Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan

Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan

At the 14th Annual Meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting held in Manila, Philippines last December, the Commission agreed that the 15th Annual Session will be held in Pohnpei, FSM from December 3-7, 2018. The FSM Head of Delegation to the 14th Annual Meeting, NORMA Executive Director Eugene Pangelinan tabled FSM’s proposal to host the meeting following Nauru’s withdrawal to host due to difficulties in meeting the  basic requirements for hosting such a big event.

Hosting such a meeting is a significant challenge and can be very time consuming and requires a lot of logistics and planning. The FSM has hosted big meetings in the past but this meeting is much bigger and requires more preparation and resources. “While accommodating up to 550 people can be a challenging task for FSM, especially with sufficient accommodations for meeting participants in Pohnpei for up to two weeks, I am confident with good preparation, planning and support of the public and business community, FSM can host such a big event” says Feleti Teo, Executive Director of the Pohnpei based WCPFC Headquarters. The last time such a meeting was held in Pohnpei was in 2005, the 2nd meeting of the Commission. “While FSM has grown accustomed to hosting Technical meetings of the Commission once or twice a year since its establishment, hosting the annual session is almost twice the workload  and therefore we are taking early steps to ensure that we prepare well and plan accordingly” said Eugene Pangelinan.  Pangelinan further stated that “Hosting this meeting will infuse into the FSM economy more than $600,000 and this is why FSM must prove it can host these meetings successfully, if we do it well, it can potentially lead to more annual meetings of the Commission in Pohnpei in the future”.  President Christian had authorized the FSM delegation to the WCPFC meeting in Manila to accept hosting the meeting if there was a need for FSM as host of the WCPFC Secretariat to step in and assist.  The opportunity arose and we did what we were tasked to do said Mathew Chigiyal, Deputy Director of NORMA.  Now we need to work with the business community, civil society, Pohnpei State Government, and the national government to organize ourselves and make sure Pohnpei is ready in time.

The Annual Session is held annually and rotates among the members. Up to 550 participants normally attend this meeting including delegates from 40 countries and governments, international and regional organizations, non government organizations, Secretariat staff, and the media.

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[Public Notice] Vessel Monitoring System Regulations

Category : Press Releases


Download PDF Version

This is to inform the general public that National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA), through its Board of Directors, hereby proposes to promulgate the Vessel Monitoring System Regulations. This public notice is made pursuant Section 204 of Title 24 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The purpose of the VMS Regulations is to prescribe the legal requirements and responsibility for a fishing vessel operating within FSM or FSM Flagged to register in the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). The VMS system is a tool that enables NORMA to monitor the position and activities of foreign and domestic fishing vessels for the purpose of effective management of fisheries. The regulations also require all fishing vessels operating in FSM or FSM flagged to install, maintain and operate a Automated Location Communicator (ALC) device which transmit information or data concerning the position, fishing, and other activities of the fishing vessel.

These regulations are necessary to implement Section 611 of Title 24 of the Code of the Federated States of Micronesia. The proposed Regulations are open for public’s view and comment beginning on the date of posting and ending on the 30th day of posting. Extra copies of the proposed Regulations can be obtained from the Office of the Executive Director, NORMA. Any person interested in commenting on the proposed Regulations may do so in written submission to:

Eugene Pangelinan
National Oceanic Resource Management Authority
P.O. Box PS-122
Palikir, Pohnpei FSM 96941
Tel: (691) 320-2700
Fax:  (691) 320-2383

All written comments or submissions must be submitted to NORMA within the thirty (30) days after the posting of this notice. Written comments and submission must be submitted to NORMA during office working hours (8am to 5pm) from Monday to Friday working days.

The VMS Regulations are proposed to take effect forty days from the date of the posting of this Notice. Otherwise a different effective date will be noted on the certified copy of the Regulations to be filed pursuant to 17 FSMC Section 103(1).

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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.

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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



  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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Category : Press Releases


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.