the last Annual Meeting, the United States solicited the group’s
views on inviting Indonesia as an observer. The United States noted
that as Indonesia appears to conduct significant high seas fishing
in and around the Convention Area, discussion on this issue is
Japan, Russia, and Canada had no objections to inviting Indonesia as
an observer. Russia noted the need to create some mechanism for
improved communication with Indonesia, to which the U.S. concurred.
The Executive Director explained that a letter of invitation will be
sent requesting Indonesia’s attendance as an observer to the 2008
Annual Meeting once approved by the ENFO Points of Contact.
Additionally, the Commission decided at the last Annual Meeting that
representatives from the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF) and
the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) be
invited to this NPAFC EECM meeting. A joint North Pacific IUU
Tripartite meeting with NPAFC, NPCGF and WCPFC was held immediately
after this EECM’s adjournment.
China was invited as
an observer to the tripartite meeting, but the Secretariat received
Niemeier of the United States delivered a PowerPoint presentation on
the U.S. ghost net program. Mr. Niemeier solicited for interest
from Parties to carry NOAA-funded satellite tracking buoys on board
patrol vessels. These buoys would track the position of abandoned
driftnets discovered at sea. USCGC MUNRO will carry these
tracking buoys during the summer 2008 patrol, which will serve as a
program prototype. The U.S. will report results and effectiveness
of these buoys at the next Annual Meeting. In the interim, the U.S.
will publish additional information on the satellite tracking buoy
program on the U.S. NOAA website.
Russia emphasized that while tracking abandoned nets demonstrates
important progress, the real focus should be on removing
these nets from the ocean environment. The Chairman agreed with
this statement and indicated that it may be beneficial to request
some NPAFC funding at the next Annual Meeting.