18 Oct 2013

PNA says vessel day scheme has transformed fishing industry

5:53 pm on 18 October 2013

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, says the introduction of its vessel day scheme has helped the Pacific gain increasing control over its tuna resource.

The PNA commercial manager, Maurice Brownjohn, says when buyers outside the region controlled the market, tuna traders dictated the prices at 450 US dollars per metric ton.

But Mr Brownjohn says the vessel day scheme, implemented in 2008, turned fisheries into a seller's market, which has ramped up the value for the Pacific.

He says in 2013, world market tuna prices have stayed above 2,000 US dollars per ton.

He says with improved prices, the revenues for PNA nations have jumped four-fold, with total revenues for PNA members at 240 million US dollars per year.

But he says demand to fish by foreign fleets and global demand for tuna are surpassing limits imposed by PNA, which shows why a limit on fishing days is essential to conserving the resource.