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”.