Western Micronesian Chief Executives Announce Moratorium Support

Date: March 22, 2007

President Remengesau reported that the Pacific Islands Forum, and other Chief Executives at previous meetings, agreed, within the limitations of their political status, to support a temporary ban on the destructive practice of deep sea bottom trawling, and to take a precautionary approach until measures are in place within relevant regional fisheries management organizations (“RFMOs”) to effectively manage and regulate such practices.

The President further indicated that negotiations are ongoing with respect to inclusion of our geographic areas within the South Pacific RFMO, which is currently being formed, and which will conduct an important organizational meeting starting at the end of April 2007. The President requested that during this process or until the United Nations takes further action, which is not expected until 2009, our jurisdictions should continue to participate actively and advocate as a group for an interim prohibition on bottom trawling, to protect our fisheries and marine diversity. The Chief Executives once again agreed to support the interim prohibition on bottom trawling and to advocate this commitment at appropriate national, regional and international forums.