PALAU TASK FORCE TO SHAPE TUNA POLICIES

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Funding needed to hire experts

By Bernadette H. Carreon KOROR (Palau Horizon, August 17, 2009) - President Johnson Toribiong has created a Joint Task Force on Domestic Tuna Industry Development to formulate and coordinate national fisheries policies, projects and programs for the conservation, management and sustainable harvesting of tuna resources.

According to Executive Order 265, there is an urgent need for Palau to access external funding sources and grant assistance with which to recruit, hire engage or utilize expert and consultative services of tuna fisheries economists, lawyers and managers from international and regional donor organizations as well as from Palau’s traditional development partners such as Japan, the United States, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and other parties to the Nauru Agreement.

The task force will provide for the development of the tuna industry and review current fisheries legal framework under which the existing fishing agreements operate.

The task force will also identify challenges and opportunities after 2012 when the existing long line fishing agreements run their course.

The task force will provide a scheme to reform tuna policies and revamp the domestic tuna industry.

It will produce a legislative framework for consideration by the national legislature, the Olbiil Era Kelulau.

The task force will not exist for more than 60 days from the date its establishment and it will be headed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

Palau is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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