Welcome to Nauru
Last updated February 22, 2013
Nauru, also called “the Pleasant Island”, is the next PNA country we want to let you know about. Did you know Nauru is the world’s smallest republic? It covers just 21 square kilometers (8.1 sq mi) in the blue and pure waters right above the Solomon Islands, their Exclusive Economic Zone is 308,502 Km2, compared to the size of Italy. The island of Nauru with 9,378 residents, it is the second least-populated country after Vatican City.

On February 11th 1982, Nauru hosted the signing of the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation In The Management Of Fisheries Of Common Interest, or The Nauru Agreement, an agreement between the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. The eight signatories collectively control 25-30% of the world's tuna supply and approximately 60% of the western and central Pacific tuna supply.

Let us share some information about Nauru with you,
General Information
Capital Yaren
Official Languages Nauren (Native)
English (Widely Spoken)
Total Land Area 21 Km2 (8.1 sq mi)
EEZ 308,502 Km2
Compared to the size of Italy
Population 9,378
Currency Australian Dollar (AUD)
See complete table
Source Wikipedia
Tuna Catching Data
1. National Catching Data by Domestic Fleet
Source WCPFC
In recent years Nauru has had no domestic flagged Purse Seine or Long Line fishing vessels. All effort is by PNA regionally based Purse seine fleets under FSMA access, vessels under USMLT or by distant water fleets under bilateral access.

2. Total Catch in Nauru Waters in MT by Domestic and Foreign Fleet

Source WCPFC
The total 2010 tuna catches were 103,268 MT
  • Albacore 0 MT (0%)
  • Bigeye 2,176 MT (2%)
  • Skipjack 76,780 MT (74%)
  • Yellowfin 24,308 MT (24%)
  • Catches by Purse Seine 103,178 MT
    • Bigeye 2,136 MT (2%)
    • Skipjack 76,780 MT (74%)
    • Yellowfin 24,262MT (24%)
  • Catches by longliners 86 MT
    • Albacore 0 MT (0%)
    • Bigeye 40 MT (46%)
    • Yellowfin 46 MT (54%)
  • Catches by other Gears  2 MT
Nauru manages a Vessel Day Scheme (VDS)
The VDS is a scheme under the Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Purse Seine Fishery (PNA, 2004), which establishes a system of tradable fishing days allocated to the Parties as Party Allowable Effort (PAE). The Arrangement was established to
  • Regulate the total allowable effort by purse seine vessels licensed by the Parties at any one time, in response to scientific advice on resource sustainability.
  • Provide a basis for increasing economic benefits to resource-owning states and economic returns to participating vessel owners.
Nauru closed its marine exclusive economic zone to fishing by bilaterally licensed foreign tuna purse-seiners in November 2010, in order to avoid exceeding its national allowable effort limit for the 2010 fishing season. The same situation happened in November 2011.
Nauru was first inhabited by Micronesian and Polynesian people at least 3,000 years ago. There were traditionally 12 clans or tribes on Nauru, which are represented in the 12-pointed star on the country's flag. The name "Nauru" may derive from the Nauruan word Anáoero, which means "I go to the beach".

The British sea captain John Fearn, a whale hunter, became the first Westerner to visit Nauru in 1798, naming it "Pleasant Island". From around 1830, Nauruans had contact with Europeans from whaling ships and traders who replenished their supplies (particularly fresh water) at Nauru. Around this time, deserters from European ships began to live on the island. The islanders traded food for alcoholic palm wine and firearms. The firearms were used during the 10-year Nauruan Tribal War that began in 1878.

Nauru was annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japanese troops, who were bypassed by the Allied advance across the Pacific. After the war ended, the country entered into trusteeship again.

Nauru became self-governing in January 1966, and following a two-year constitutional convention it became independent in 1968 under founding president Hammer DeRoburt.In 1967, the people of Nauru purchased the assets of the British Phosphate Commissioners, and in June 1970 control passed to the locally owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation. Income from the mines gave Nauruans one of the highest standards of living in the Pacific. In 1989, Nauru took legal action against Australia in the International Court of Justice over Australia's administration of the island, in particular Australia's failure to remedy the environmental damage caused by phosphate mining. Certain Phosphate Lands Nauru v. Australia led to an out-of-court settlement to rehabilitate the mined-out areas of Nauru.
Nauru A PNA member

In 1982, Nauru joined the Parties of the Nauru Agreement along to all the other 6 members through the coordination of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). Tuvalu joined later. Today the PNA office is independent and was created in 2010, based in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

In December 2011, the purse-seine free-school skipjack fishery, was certified according to Marine Stewardship Council standards as being sustainable. This means that all skipjack products caught from free schools by PNA-licensed and product-chain-certified purse-seiners fishing in the waters of Nauru or any of the PNA countries EEZ will be eligible for the sustainable and globally well know MSC ecolabel.

Nauru is a 21 square kilometers (8 sq mi) oval-shaped island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 42 kilometers (26 mi) south of the Equator. The island is surrounded by a coral reef, which is exposed at low tide and dotted with pinnacles. The presence of the reef has prevented the establishment of a seaport, although channels in the reef allow small boats access to the island.

Nauru was one of three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean (the others were Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia). The phosphate reserves on Nauru are now almost entirely depleted. Phosphate mining in the central plateau has left a barren terrain of jagged limestone pinnacles up to 15 metres (49 ft) high. Mining has stripped and devastated about 80 per cent of Nauru's land area, and has also affected the surrounding foreshore; 40 per cent of marine life is estimated to have been killed by silt and phosphate runoff.
The Nauruan economy peaked in the early 1980s, as it was dependent almost entirely on the phosphate deposits that originate from the droppings of sea birds. Although the phosphate reserves on Nauru are now almost entirely depleted. The artisanal fishery continues to provide an important source of food for the population and is evenly made up of canoe fishermen and small aluminum dinghy operators.

The largest fishery is the Purse Seine fleet by the Distant Water Fishing Nations. In the early to mid 90’s the dominant fleet was the US purse seiners followed by PIC domesticated boats under the FSM Arrangement but since then other nations from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and more recently the Chinese have all negotiated access into the Nauru EEZ. Consequently the total annual purse seine catches in Nauru EEZ have gradually risen to relatively significant proportions in the region.

Besides Purse seining there is no other significant commercial fishery that is in current operation although Nauru owned a small Purse Seiner in the 90s and the NFMRA trialed longline operation with two midsized vessels in early 2000’s with little success and eventually scrapped. Likewise the Japanese under Bilateral Agreement applied for several Pole and Line and Longline licenses but these were also short-lived.

There are no personal taxes in Nauru. The unemployment rate is estimated to be 90 percent, and of those who have jobs, the government employs 95 percent. Tourism is not a major contributor to the economy.
Nauruans descended from Polynesian and Micronesian seafarers who believed in a female deity, Eijebong, and a spirit land, an island called Buitani. Two of the 12 original tribal groups became extinct in the 20th century. Angam Day, held on 26 October, celebrates the recovery of the Nauruan population after the two World Wars and the 1920 influenza epidemic. The displacement of the indigenous culture by colonial and contemporary western influences is significant.

Australian rules football is the most popular sport in Nauru; it and weightlifting are considered the country's national sports. There is a football league with eight teams. Other sports popular in Nauru include volleyball, netball, fishing and tennis. Nauru participates in the Commonwealth Games and the Summer Olympic Games.
The official language of Nauru is Nauruan, a distinct Pacific island language, which is spoken by 96 per cent of ethnic Nauruans at home. English is widely spoken and is the language of government and commerce, as Nauruan is not common outside of the country.
The main religion practiced on the island is Christianity (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic). There is also a sizeable Bahá'í population (10%) – the largest proportion of any country in the world– and Buddhist (9%) and Muslim (2.2%) populations. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion. However, the government has restricted the religious practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jehovah's Witnesses, most of whom are foreign workers employed by the government-owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation.
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