16 Feb 2005

Auctions suggested as a way for Pacific nations to get a better return on their fish stocks

3:07 pm on 16 February 2005

A Suva based academic says Pacific countries should consider auctioning off access to their fishing grounds to ensure a better return.

Professor Ron Duncan of the University of the South Pacific's Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance, says the region should be making hundreds of millions more from the annual catch.

He says the current methods for determining access to fishing grounds are not extracting the best returns, and he suggests auctions in the same way as is done for TV or mobile phone spectrum.

"And getting these fishing nations to bid against each other to have the rights to fish. And then the island countries would have a chance of knowing what the full value of the fish that's being caught and getting the best value out of it."