Excerpt from The Guardian
It has been described as “the most remarkable achievement of the Pacific island countries in the last 50 years”.
In 1982, eight, mostly minuscule Pacific island countries in whose waters much of the world’s skipjack tuna was caught got together and decided to do something to get a share of the profits, of which they received precisely nothing.
In a shining example of regional cooperation, the group, known as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), successively outmanoeuvred the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and later mainland China and the European Union.
“It was a David versus Goliath situation from the start,” said Jonathan Pryke, director of the Pacific Islands Program of the Lowy Institute in Sydney.
Over four decades of trial and error, they created a system that Pryke calls “revolutionary” that today not only yields them half a billion dollars a year but also prevents the overfishing that international fishing fleets have carried out to deplete the waters off most poor countries.
They were, from east to west, six micro-states made up mostly of tiny islands (Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau) and two midsized countries, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
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