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|Pacific Island Nations, April 18, 12|
Written by Anouk Ride
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), eight Pacific Island countries controlling the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery, are preparing to celebrate the first World Tuna Day next month.
In 2011, PNA Ministers declared May 2 to be World Tuna Day, a special day for all involved in tuna fishing and tuna conservation and management to celebrate the wonders of tuna with communities around the world. This year, PNA countries are planning local celebrations as well as a major event in Alotau, Papua New Guinea, where PNA Ministers will be present.
In picturesque Alotau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Ministers will be treated to presentations of traditional lifestyles and music from Milne Bay Province. Ministers will give speeches on the meaning of World Tuna Day in each PNA country and they will also announce the award for the World Tuna Day Art and Talent Quest, which will be showcased on www.pnatuna.com Entries closed yesterday (Monday 16 April) for the quest, which has received art, dance, short stories and poetry from the PNA member countries Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Marshall Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Nauru.
In Noro, Western Province, Solomon Islands a town known for its successful local tuna fishing and canneries, a festival is being planned with a float parade, live entertainment, school activities competition, displays of fishing and processing of tuna and competitions to cook tuna, guess the weight of a giant yellowfin tuna and a ring toss.
The celebrations in PNG and will be featured in local media and in a special video to be made on World Tuna Day and launched after the day on www.youtube.com/pnatuna.
Dr Transform Aqorau said: “We’re very pleased to see industry and government in the PNA countries initiating celebrations for World Tuna Day and several non-government organizations have also said they will plan special events for the day. We hope that this can remind us of the wonders and value of our tuna, and be a day to celebrate our many achievements to develop and conserve this key resource.”