27 Feb 2010

PNA members want a greater return on tuna exports

11:13 am on 27 February 2010

The countries which make up the central Pacific fisheries deal, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, are considering an organisation of tuna exporting nations to generate greater returns from the resource.

This was one of the topics discussed when the leaders of the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, met on Thursday in Palau.

The PNA's director, Dr Transform Aqorau, says if the resource is properly managed then the economic benefits should flow on.

He says the PNA recognises its Vessel Day Scheme, which allows boat owners to purchase and trade fishing days as a conservation measure and a way of maximising access charges, is not working as well as it should and needs tweaking.

Dr Aqorau says they are putting together a task group and will look for an international economic expert to develop the VDS further.

"To work with this task force,, to hopefully also develop an economic model that would include reviewing the VDS and lead to better management of the resource with an improved VDS. The other thing we have been looking at is, we need to start trading on the VDS, maybe there have been ideas on pooling of the [fishing] days so there is better administration of the VDS."