The Fisheries Compliance Strategy Meeting between FSM’s NORMA & DOJ

Strengthened communication, coordination and information exchange provide the foundation for FSM’s an improved approach to fisheries compliance.

The National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have strengthened their relationship and adopted an improved approach to fisheries compliance for FSM. The approach seeks to achieve optimal levels of compliance through the application of risk-based, consistent and targeted compliance activities that support national efforts to promote the conservation, management and development of FSM’s fishery resources.

In November 2019, President Panuelo had the opportunity to review a draft Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025 and asked the DoJ and NORMA to take the necessary steps to ensure its full implementation. Last week, NORMA and the DoJ took the first of these steps and met for a three-day working session facilitated by the New Zealand funded Fisheries Compliance Adviser. The working session provided a forum for the DoJ and NORMA to engage in open and honest dialogue, adopt an improved approach to fisheries compliance and finalize the Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025.

Justice Secretary Joses Gallen, Sr. expressed optimism on the “close working relationship between NORMA and the DoJ. He highlighted the mandate of the two national offices to ensure the protection of the natural resources of the nation and strengthen the regulatory measures for their conservation”.

The development and implementation of the Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025 is an incredibly important step for FSM and will ensure the compliance activities are prioritized, risk-based and targeted. Through the Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025, NORMA and the DoJ will develop initiatives to encourage voluntary compliance and to ensure that effective deterrents to non-compliant behavior are established.

In adopting the FCS, NORMA and the DoJ commit to effective coordination and information exchange and to developing a compliance environment that is based on consistent, fair, transparent and legitimate principles. The DoJ and NORMA have recommitted to their role as stewards of FSM’s marine resources and to protect these resources for all of FSM’s people, now and into the future.

NORMA’s Executive Director, Eugene Pangelinan firmly believes “that the new Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025 will result in improved compliance by fishing vessels and greater transparency in our approach to compliance and enforcement. It is hoped that our partners will see this transformation as an invitation to invest in FSM resulting in the creation of jobs and new economic activities that will benefit both industry and the people of FSM”.

The Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025 will provide important guidance to develop and implement a range of national fisheries priorities including establishing FSM as a Competent Authority country to secure European Union market access, the improved implementation of port State measures, the implementation of the Administrative Penalties Regulations, the promotion of voluntary compliance and the implementation of electronic reporting and electronic monitoring.

Over the coming weeks, NORMA and the DoJ will work to finalize the Fisheries Compliance Strategy 2020 – 2025 and develop its implementation plan. The two agencies will also start work on a comprehensive review of FSM’s national fisheries law and on arrangements for an inclusive Fisheries Compliance Workshop planned for 2021.