Junior signs fishing pact

RMI Ambassador to Fiji Junior Aini, center, signed the US Pacific Fisheries Treaty memorandum of understanding March 28 in Fiji on behalf of the RMI government.

An important milestone in Pacific Islands relations with the United States was reached late last week in Fiji with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the US fishing fleet to operate in the Pacific for the rest of 2024, pending the formal adoption of the agreed amendments and revised text of the US Pacific Islands Fisheries Treaty for 2025 onwards.  

The 10-year US Pacific Islands deal features a US government payment of $60 million annually to Forum Fisheries Agency members, of which RMI is one, with additional fees from the fishing industry to active the fishing zones of all FFA members.

The treaty is considered by the US government as a critical diplomatic tool for engaging with the Pacific Islands. All FFA members benefit from an equal share of a portion of the annual US payment, while the balance is divided based on where tuna is actually caught.

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