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Marshall Islands Minister of Natural Resources & Commerce Dennis Momotaro. (Photo: Stock File)

PNA chairperson denies ‘mismanagament fake allegations’

MARSHALL ISLANDS
Monday, August 27, 2018, 22:20 (GMT + 9)

Marshall Islands Minister of Natural Resources & Commerce Dennis Momotaro has denied the ‘false allegations’ to global media undermining the PNA region’s MSC initiative and its potential competition to their self certified trade in the European Union.

In his view, these ‘fake news’ are industry driven rumors calling into question the financial management and governance of the PNA’s Pacifical cv joint venture, as over 90 per cent of the sector including other MSC certificate holders continue working with Pacifical cv, and that PNG factories are now this year processing about 10 per cent of PNA MSC in PNG for the EU market.

Minister Momotaro, who currently chairs the PNA Association board representing the 8 PNA member nations and Tokelau in the Pacifical cv joint venture, explained that all eight PNA member governments and Tokelau each have their own government appointed representatives in the PNA Association and the Association has equal representation on the Pacifical Board, which is made up of Directors from PNA and Pacifical cv accounts are independently audited every year in Holland and revenues are also included in the PNA Office audits.

“The audited accounts are also subject to approval by the respective Board of Directors annually including this year. Like any corporate entity, the accounts are not open to rival industry scrutiny and the accusations being tabled are clearly mischievous and commercially motivated,” pointed out the Minister.

While Minister Momotaro acknowledged that private companies may pursue their own MSC certifications as some have done in our region, he refuted recent industry led statements that suggested one PNA member government was looking to opt out of Pacifical and pursue their own MSC certificate joint with industry because of a lack of transparency in financial management or decision making in the joint venture.

The minister stressed that under the Pacifical business model, Pacifical maintains a premium for MSC certified freeschool skipjack and yellowfin now levied at 2 per cent of the final invoiced value making it competitive in the market.

He stated that the majority of the MSC premium is not paid to the PNA but rather charged by the vessels under the scheme and that processors, brands and retailers also have margins as does MSC for logo licensing fees.

“It is disappointing that this is the latest of many ongoing attempts by some companies to take all the added value of MSC for themselves, at the expense of the PNA nations,” Momotaro said.

“We have built a very successful regional joint venture that not only incentivizes sustainable free school fishing, but has put PNA island nations on the map , also helps to support the development of our fledgling domestic fishing industries, and we will continue to work together for the benefit of our people. If anything, such attempts by some players to undermine us, only strengthen our resolve to continue to work together to secure a more equitable share of the benefits for our people and our industry,” he concluded.

 
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