Message of the Director

"The aim is to encourage local companies and entrepreneurs to begin canning tuna for domestic market taking advantage on inexpensive or free bycatch."

Glen Joseph
The overarching goal of the Marshall Islands Marine Resources  Authority is to sustainably manage the multiple elements of our fisheries resource, from coastal to oceanic. We are doing this by engaging with all concerned in the fishery at the international, regional, national and local levels.
Improvements in technology are improving data acquisition by fisheries observers and monitoring of fishing vessels. An increasing number of Marshall Islands fisheries observers have been trained and are involved in dozens of trips annually on both purse seiners and longliners.
MIMRA is building a new headquarters facility that will meet our agency’s growing needs, while investing in a new office facility for the Parties to the Nauru Agreement. We have an active community engagement program that works with communities on remote islands to develop practical resource management plans the communities themselves can implement. MIMRA also engages with many agencies at the national level to develop policy initiatives through the Coastal Management Advisory Council.
Among important areas of focus for MIMRA in FY2016:

Community engagement
MIMRA continued engagement with local governments and the   communities they serve on remote islands in order to increase public participation in coastal fisheries management.
Through site visits, MIMRA staff was both able to conduct needed fisheries research while working with local communities to expand awareness about and participation in conservation management.
In addition, MIMRA began planning for the first National Ocean Symposium, to be held in FY2017, to engage all of the many government and community stakeholders in awareness and action on fisheries.

Fisheries observers
MIMRA continued to build its fisheries observer force with multiple trainings in FY2016 jointly sponsored with the support of the College of the Marshall Islands and the Pacific Community (SPC).
During the year, the RMI Observer Program’s 63 active observers carried out 175 purse seine and 28 longline trips during 2016.
Observers were also utilized to monitor transshipment activity in Majuro port since the initiative started in late 2015. We continue to increase the number of fisheries observers with the aim of having 100 certified fisheries observers.

Use of technology for fisheries management
MIMRA continued to expand the use of tablets for data collection by fisheries observers onboard fishing vessels.
These tablets also improve safety of fisheries observers because they allow direct communication with their onshore managers and also have distress signals that can be activated in case of emergency.
MIMRA is cooperating with several other PNA nations and The Nature Conservancy in a pilot project of monitoring domestically-based longline fishing vessels using video cameras installed on board.
This will be trialed over the coming year as a measure to improve surveillance of longliners.
Finally, using drone technology, MIMRA will be generating geographic information system (GIS) data to document island and individual land parcel boundaries as part of improving conservation management domestically.
Facilities expansion
MIMRA is funding construction of a new three-story office facility that will improve operations and meet the expansion needs of our growing programs. Construction will begin in FY2017.
MIMRA also purchased business facilities near the Uliga Dock, which is used for domestic transport services, that will be turned into a new office complex for the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Office.
MIMRA has committed to funding the new PNA headquarters along with contributions from PNA member governments.

Expansion of local engagement in fisheries
During FY2016, Pacific International Inc. made substantial progress for developing the first net repair yard and associated support facilities in the Marshall Islands.
The net yard opened in FY2017 and will help to cement Majuro’s position as a hub for purse seine tuna transshipment.
In addition, MIMRA supported a joint PNA-Office of Commerce and Investment-sponsored small-scale tuna canning training on Majuro.
The aim is to encourage local companies and entrepreneurs to begin canning tuna for the domestic market taking advantage of inexpensive or free bycatch from the longline and purse seine transshipment operations in Majuro.
Another business development that is an offshoot of the tuna transshipment operation centered in Majuro is the establishment of an office for Hansen Helicopters, which services the purse seine fleet using Majuro as a transshipment point.

Funding for the national government
Revenue generated by the Marshall Islands’ participation in the PNA’s Vessel Day Scheme, sale of fishing rights, and MIMRA’s joint venture fishing vessel combined to increase the fisheries sector’s contribution to the national government. In FY2016, MIMRA transferred $26.3 million to the national government,a 60 percent increase over the FY2015 contribution of $15.8 million.
MIMRA will continue working with government, business, industry and communities for effective management of our important fisheries resources.
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