An additional 12 tuna fishing vessels will operate in Tonga waters in 2013.
Tonga's Minister of Fishery, Sangster Saulala, has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the operation of the 12 vessels.
Mr Saulala revealed this in his Ministry's Christmas and New Year Message.
He added that in 2012, 9 tuna fishing vessels operated in Tonga, but this year will see 21 altogether.
The Minister says in previous years it got to the stage where there were only 3 vessels operating.
He adds the MOU signed will see more than 154-thousand US dollars injected into the local economy through the payment of license and registration.
This will also help with local employment.
It is understood that the 12 fishing vessels have foreign ownership's operating under the agent of Tongan Mosese Fakatou and foreigner Richard Chen.
On another development, the Fishery Department will open a new laboratory next year which is funded by the European Union to a tune of over 574-thousand US dollars.