Tuna purse seiner. (Photo Credit: Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency)
PNA nations to increase fees for tuna fishing
Monday, June 16, 2014, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The eight nations that make up the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) have agreed to raise the fees they charge purse seiner tuna boats to enter their waters by 33 per cent.
The Pacific island nations, which control the waters where over half of the world's skipjack tuna is caught, have taken this decision after considering foreign do not do vessels enough to conserve stocks.
The fisheries ministers of these nations -- Nauru, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Federated State of Micronesia -- agreed to raise the fishing day fee from USD 6,000 to USD 8,000 per boat from next year in an attempt to raise over USD 370 million, Radio New Zealand informed.
These ministers also issued a report in which the US industry is informed that the USD 63 million it has agreed to pay annually to fish in the region was not enough and set the next negotiating session with the US is in Auckland in July.
This report also criticised distant water fishing nations for their abuse of regional conservation agreements, saying distant nations – such as as far afield as Europe, the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan -- are not sharing the burden of conservation equally with the small island states.
For his part, Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak pointed out an increase of the day rate to USD 10,000 by 2015 will help them improve management of a vital natural resource and ensure it is sustainable.
"The need for enhanced, closer cooperation has never been more crucial if we want to continue reaping economic gains from our tuna resources," Loeak stated.
Furthermore, Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority director Glen Joseph explained that world market prices dropped late last year, but there are indications of improvement that warrant the increase, AFP reported.
Joseph also claimed that the distant fishing nations did not assist with conservation measures and refused to provide tuna catch data despite promising to do so.