The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) controls the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse-seine fishery. PNA countries provide around 50% of the global supply of skipjack tuna, the most commonly canned tuna.

The PNA members are: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Several agreements made by PNA members include provisions to protect species that are not targeted by vessels fishing for tuna or other sought-after fish. The species that are caught accidentally during fishing are known as bycatch.

The third arrangement for implementing the agreement states (in Article 1, paragraph 2) that no vessels are to deploy or service fish-aggregating devices (FADs) and associated equipment, or to fish by purse-seining vessels on floating objects between 0001 GMT on 1 July and 2359 GMT on 30 September each year. This rule is partly directed at reducing bycatch related to the use of FADs.

A 2011 amendment to this arrangement prohibits fishing, or any related activity, designed to catch tuna associated with whale sharks.

Crew at work on board a purse-seine vessel in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha.
Crew at work on board a purse-seine vessel. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha.