October 17, 2014
News Update
New board to oversee deep sea resource managment
The Marshall Islands has set up its first National Seabed Minerals Management Board to develop national policy and legislation related to managing deep sea resources. It is receiving donor support and technical assistance through a special project jointly run by the European Union and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. It held its inaugural meeting earlier this month. The board is chaired by Ministry of Resources and Development Secretary Rebecca Lorennij. A national policy is the first priority for the newly formed board.
Read more about this in the October 24, 2014
edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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Purse Seiner
fined $300K
The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) bagged a $300,000 fine in a court ordered fisheries enforcement action last week. Fong Seong Fishery Group and its fishing master Yeh P. Wen of the fishing vessel Taumoana were charged with 52 counts alleging that the purse seine vessel did not follow conditions of its fishing license, which included not retaining tuna species as required and obstructing the on-board fisheries observer in the conduct of his duties. Most fisheries violations lodged by MIMRA against fishing companies are settled out of court by payment of fines. Fong Seong officials, however, refused to accept a settlement, so MIMRA attorney, Special Assistant Attorney General Tion Nabau, filed suit in the High Court two years ago. Fong Seong was represented by local attorney John Masek. The dispute was scheduled for trial later this month. But last week, the two sides reached an agreement that they took to High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram on Thursday. Under the agreement, Fong Seong pled “no contest” to two of the 52 charges, and MIMRA agreed to drop the rest. A no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain as in the just-settled case. Ingram found the fishing company guilty.
MOH plans for securing borders
As the number of Ebola infections worldwide spirals upward, the Ministry of Health is taking steps to secure our borders. Majuro Hospital Administrator Ayako Yamaguchi-Elio said precautionary measures were put in place Monday this week at the Amata Kabua International Airport to begin screening passengers coming into the country. US health officials on Monday urged hospitals in the United States to “think Ebola” and
launched a review of procedures for treating infected patients, while the World Health Organization called the outbreak “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.” WHO said it expects the number of Ebola cases globally to surpass 9,000 this week. Public Health officials in Majuro met with Immigration, United Airlines and the Ports Authority and have established new protocols at the airport for incoming passengers. All arriving passengers will now need to fill out a health form and United Airlines has been asked to halt the system of allowing transiting passengers to deplane. Meanwhile at the hospital, an isolation facility has been indentified and is being worked on. “These are precautionary measures,” stressed Yamaguchi-Elio. She adds that on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health’s emergency preparedness group met and was scheduled to report to hospital officials and Public Health on Wednesday afternoon to develop an action plan to further prepare the hospital and reduce the risk of Ebola entering the country. Yamaguchi-Elio confirmed that both the hospital and RMI Ports Authority’s fire fighters have biohazard suits on hand and that the hospital is in the process of procuring more biohazard suits and related equipment as a precaution.
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Marshall Islands Journal
P.O. Box 14
Majuro, Marshall Islands MH 96960
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