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.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (signed in 1982, and amended in 2010) emphasises monitoring vessels, which is achieved through Articles 2 and 3. These are summarised below.

Article 2

The parties to the agreement (that is, the member states) seek to coordinate fishing in their fisheries zones. In particular, they:

  • give priority to applications by fishing vessels of the member states over foreign vessels
  • set uniform conditions for fishing vessels for:
    – licensing vessels
    – having observers on board
    – maintaining a daily logbook of activities
    – requiring all licensed vessels report to authorities about their activities inside the fishing zones
    – standardising how fishing vessels are identified
  • establish uniform terms and conditions for fishing in the fisheries zones, including:
    – paying access fees
    – supplying complete data on catch and effort for each voyage
    – providing extra information as required
    – compliance.

Article 3

The member states seek:

  • adopt standardised measures and procedures for the licensing of fishing vessels
  • establish a centralised licensing system.


The agreement also states, in Article 6, that the parties to the agreement will, “where appropriate, cooperate and coordinate the monitoring and surveillance of fishing activities”. They will do this by:

  • quickly exchanging information collected through national surveillance activities
  • exploring the feasibility of joint surveillance
  • developing other appropriate measures.

The PNA member states have produced a number of arrangements for implementing the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

The second arrangement for implementing the agreement states (Article 2) that the operator of the vessel or the government of their state will ensure that the vessel has installed, and maintains in good working order, an electronic positioning monitoring and data transfer device.

The third arrangement states (Article 1.4) that licensed vessel operators must switch on and properly operate at all times the automatic location communicator (ALC, also known as a mobile transmitting unit).

A Solomon Islands transhipment is watched over by observers. Photo credit: Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).