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Management Policy for the implementation of reference point for the Tuna Fishery in Papua New Guinea.

Type of law

This policy lays down the mechanisms and procedures for the implementation of reference points for the management of tuna stocks. This policy is prepared in accordance with the provisions of the PNG Fisheries Management Act 1998. The purpose of this policy is to preserve a stock biomass that optimizes economic yield and management of tuna fishery within safe biological limits.
The mechanisms and procedures set out in this policy will be used by the Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority for monitoring reference points to assist in the management of tuna stocks and assessing the performance of conservation and management in achieving operational objectives. This policy applies to the fishery waters of Papua New Guinea. Any reference points established under any regional or sub-regional agreement for fishing operations within EEZ of PNG will be observed. The acceptable level of risk of exceeding the limit reference point shall be 10% with due consideration for the timing, frequency, accuracy, and currency of scientific data, and any other relevant consideration. In order to strengthen the management of tuna stocks, target reference points will be used to meet a range of objectives, including resource sustainability, economic and social goals, and avoiding undesirable impacts on PNG's artisanal fisheries. Harvest control rules will be developed through the adoption of target and limit reference points. The management strategies for the fishery will be reviewed and revised by the Board if the spawning biomass falls below 40% or 30% in two consecutive annual reporting periods with the aim of returning the fishery to the applicable target reference point within five years. In addition to that, in case spawning biomass falls below 20% the Board shall immediately, and based on the best available information, implement such fishery closures as are necessary to encourage and facilitate successful spawning and notify the Minister on the situation, any proposed management response, in particular the consequences of not taking prompt action on the long-term sustainability of the tuna resources and the potential economic impacts.
A total allowable effort is set by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement for the Vessel Day Scheme as PNG's portion of the VDS total allowable effort. To this end, any fishing company fleet will be notified when it reaches 80% of its VDS allocation, and will be advised about using which vessels in their fleet for the remaining allocation and for foreign flagged vessels, other vessels will be directed to exit the waters of Papua New Guinea, and for domestic and locally based foreign vessels, other vessels will be directed to return to their designated port. A mechanism will be established to set a trigger total catch level for skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, and bigeye tuna in the fisheries waters of Papua New Guinea. The indices of fishing efficiency will be established by the Board for the purse seine fishery that takes into account changes to vessel characteristics, changes to fishing practices, and emerging technology, in order to monitor operational efforts from fishing and fishing related activity. A precautionary approach will be taken to the management of tuna stocks using the best available data in real time. The fishery management strategies for all or any species of tuna will be reviewed by the Board in case data indicates that action is required to prevent damage to the sustainability or economic performance of the fishery. Any vessel, person or company who fails to comply with any provision of this policy, also constitutes a breach of licence condition.
Date of text
Serial Imprint
National Gazette No. G570, 7 September 2015.
Publication reference
National Fisheries Authority.
Source language


Legislation Amendment