7 Dec 2015

NZ restates criticism of PNA fishing scheme

3:56 pm on 7 December 2015

New Zealand says the unravelling of a United States Tuna treaty serves as a wake-up call for Pacific countries that have become increasingly reliant on income from the vessel day scheme.

The United States has asked for a dramatic reduction of the number of fishing days it agreed to with regional countries, saying it can't pay the 89.2 million US dollar deal it signed.

The pay-by-day scheme has increaesed the island nations' incomes, but has allowed catch rates to hit new highs, which has seen the market price for tuna drop to half of what it was in 2013.

New Zealand's Pacific Ambassador for Economic Development, Shane Jones, says countries can't rely on continually increasing the cost of fishing days if the cost is disconnected from market reality.

Ministers from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) are holding their annual meeting in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Ministers from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement at their annual meeting in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Joining them at the opening was new FSM President Peter Christian and Pohnpei Governor John Ehsa (front center, not in uniforms). Photo: Bill Jaynes

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