Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 11

Issue 11, 16 March 2015

Your fortnightly report on trends and influencers on the global tuna market from the Pacific Islands. Click this link to read PDF: http://www.pnatuna.com/sites/default/files/marketintel11.pdf

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It looks like skipjack prices are set for a further drop.  In February, the Bangkok price dropped to $1,070 per metric ton. However this month it looks like prices will drop further between $1,000/t-$1,020/t, sources said.
Supply has affected the price with traders seeking a $1050/t but canners have been holding off for a $1000/t price.

Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) said that their catches have not really increased in the past few years so it is not necessarily PNA fish supplies that is causing the oversupply because catches in PNA waters have been relatively flat in the past few years.

The price increases seem to have been pushed by influx of catch from other waters including Indonesia and other areas of the Western and Central Pacific plus some other waters like the Cook Islands and the eastern high seas which were re-opened in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

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PNA agrees to FAD system

​Fresh off the Parties to Nauru Agreement meeting at Yap this week, the group has decided that trials for tracking Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) start in January 1, 2016 on FAD tracking and registration. FADs are already being tracked by the industry.

"There are very good benefits that PNA and the scientific community will be able to obtain from the information and allow the PNA members to better manage FADs," PNA Chief Executive Officer Dr Transform Aqorau said at the Yap meeting. "This was already considered by PNA Ministers in Tuvalu who asked to see a draft Programme Document on costings and how it will be implemented. They also agreed to recommend FAD charging trials begin from January 1 2016.This will involve charging for FAD use as a means of FAD management and also as a means to mitigate the costs of the additional FAD closures."

A paper distributed at the meeting revealed that the number of FADs deployed in PNA waters was estimated at around 30,000 in 2013, and is estimated to have grown substantially. However, the number of FAD sets made in PNA waters, estimated at around 15,000 annually, remains largely constant indicating that many FADs are never set on.

Although they are classified as fishing gear under national laws, FADs drift through waters of different national jurisdictions without notification to, or knowledge by, the national authorities of those waters.


PNG anticipate auction of days

Papua New Guinea is anticipating higher returns from its auctioning of fishing days.

Ludwig Kumoro, Deputy Managing Director, PNG National Fisheries Authority said they were looking forward to their next tender.

"I’m pretty confident we can sell up to $15,000 because when we did it this year, the highest was $12,000," Kumoro said. 

"A lot of high paying successful boats actually have missed out and their complaint was that they didn’t get the right information.  So, they said they’d prepared this coming year and will be bidding more.”


Community benefits from VDS fund

Tuvalu continues to demonstrate how funds from its tuna fishery can benefit its community.

Caretaker Minister Elisala Pita said Nukulaelae will be using its Community Vessel Day Scheme fund on upgrading and construction of new houses on the island. Nukulaelae Kaupule (Council of chiefs) secretary – Mr. Collin Namoliki Neemia saidthe falekaupule has approved the project to commence in April this year.

Neemia says this project will be carried out with funding from the distribution of revenue from the PNA Vessel Day Scheme.  Tuvalu is a member of the PNA which introduced the VDS and introduced their own Community Vessel Day Scheme.

Vaitupu Island also plans to upgrade its fishery center with its CVDS fund. VaitupuKaupule Secretary Amosa Auina said they plan to use their first installment of $80,000 from government CVDS to upgrade their fish market on the island.

Tuvalu holds its general election later this year.


WWF lauds PNA observers system

WWF welcomed the PNA's new electronic catch documentation system for on-board observers, which uses near real-time data through Android tablets and satellite transmitters is expected to substantially enhance the quality, reliability, and timeliness of critical fisheries information, and will considerably improve the management of tuna stocks.

“This ground-breaking project exemplifies the PNA members’ progressive and proactive attitude toward achieving sustainability of the region’s highly lucrative and socially important tuna fisheries”, said Bubba Cook of the WWF Smart Fishing Initiative. WWF contributed funding to purchase the equipment used for the observer eCDS system.

The system includes electronic forms that can be used to cross reference and validate catch and effort, particularly with respect to the PNA Vessel Days at Sea Scheme (VDS), where vessel owners can purchase and trade days fishing at sea in places subject to PNA Agreement. 

The PNA adopted the system following successful trials in member states’ Papua New Guinea and the Republic of the Marshall Islands with the aim to fully implement the technology in the PNA skipjack tuna fishery.

David Karis, the Enforcement Officer for the Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) said: “We saw very early on that this system was the future of successful management in our fisheries and we currently have 88 fisheries observers trained and qualified to use the Integrated Fisheries Information Management System (iFIMS) tablet and Observer App.”

Glen Joseph, the Director of the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) and a former observer, emphasised: “An important thing to consider is that this project is not only about improving data quality from the fishery, but other features as well, such as elevation of the observer reports for compliance purposes in addition to ensuring the safety and security of observers.” He added: “The system not only considerably empowers fisheries observers with an independent communications and safety platform, but will also assist national governments to expedite, review, and debrief observer reports against the scientific and compliance requirements.”

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ABOUT TUNA MARKET INTELLIGENCE Tuna Market Intelligence is an independent publication, sponsored by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to unearth industry and market information from Pacific Island reporters and analysts. Reprint in the media from the PNA countries is free. All other reprints must be authorized. Contact us on marketintel@pnatuna.com or see more on www.pnatuna.com

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