Fisheries revenue management needed "yesterday"

2:09 pm on 2 August 2016

Revenue from commercial fishing licences has soared in the Marshall Islands over the last decade, prompting calls for better financial management.

A ship anchored in the Marshall Islands, boat, fishing, sea, Majuro

A ship anchored in the Marshall Islands Photo: RNZI

During that time the Marshalls income from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement rose from around $US3 million a year to $US20 million, which the Asian Development Bank said "heightens the need for prudent fiscal management".

The Minister of Resources and Development, Alfred Alfred Jr agreed, saying prudent management was needed "yesterday".

In the past, the Marshall Islands' Marine Resources Authority board was responsible for revenue allocation, something Mr Alfred said is "not optimal," because the process was not transparent.

Starting with the fiscal year 2017 budget, 90 percent of fisheries revenue will be included in the government budget process, with the leftover funds for the Authority's annual operating budget he said.

The 2014 government-wide audit by Deloitte questioned about 4 million dollars in fisheries revenue spending by the previous government, saying it had not followed guidelines under the fisheries law.

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