30 Jul 2014

Forum leaders to tackle fishery disparity

6:58 am on 30 July 2014

The vast disparity between what Pacific islands get from their fisheries and what goes to foreign fleets is to be discussed at an island leaders summit in Palau today.

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Photo: Pacific Islands Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting is looking for a better way to manage the region's lucrative tuna fisheries so that island countries get a bigger share.

Most tuna is netted by distant fishing nations such as Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

Niue's premier, Toke Talagi, says the forum's licensing regime is not working and has to change.

"If the industry is getting anything up to five billion dollars a year from the fisheries and illegal takes about another five billion dollars then we believe that we should get a share of that, rather than what we have at the present moment, probably less than five percent if we're lucky."

Toke Talagi says that is not an adequate return for the value of the fishery resource.