From aspirations to inspirations: The Marshall Islands fishing story

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The story of how the Marshall Islands went from being a bystander in commercial fishing in the Pacific to operating the world’s busiest tuna transshipment port, two fish processing facilities, a purse seine vessel net repair yard, and a fleet of locally-flagged and -based fishing vessels is documented in a groundbreaking new book.

“Our Ocean’s Promise: From Aspirations to Inspirations — The Marshall Islands Fishing Story” is a 196-page overview of the Marshall Islands expanding engagement in the tuna fishery value chain.

The book documents how the Marshall Islands has benefited from purse seine fishery revenue rising from about $4 million annually to over $30 million a year since 2010 through the country’s participation in Parties to the Nauru Agreement’s (PNA’s) globally recognized conservation and management regime that ensures sustainable fishing as well as dramatically increasing the islands’ share of tuna revenue.

“I personally witnessed the transformation in Marshall Islands’ fisheries through the collective endeavors of the PNA grouping of countries that control most of the tuna that is taken in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean,” Dr. Transform Aqorau, the founding PNA CEO, writes in a foreword to the new book. “As host of the PNA Office, the Marshall Islands was instrumental in promoting the PNA purse seine Vessel Day Scheme, and was a vociferous advocate of the PNA initiatives.”

Marshall Islands President David Kabua (center) receives the new book, Our Ocean’s Promise: From Aspirations to Inspirations — The Marshall Islands Fishing Story, from Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Glen Joseph (left) and Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Authority General Manager Moriana Phillip.