Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 14
Issue 14, 30 April 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/marketintel14.pdf
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Thailand tuna canners are actually happy that prices have hit rock bottom but if prices sink lower fishing vessels face a bleak future. Canners are buying skipjack tuna at between $1,000 per metric ton and $1,010/t.
With some sources at the bottom end of the market quoting a US $950/t fears are that the price drain could drag on a bit further.
In Ecuador prices have decreased by 25% from the last two months in Ecuador, partly due to higher landings. Another tuna source said Ecuadorian tuna prices were at $950 per metric ton on April 16.
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PNA and Tuna boat owners discuss tuna status
Expect shorter fishing expeditions at sea and a general reduction in fishing effort in PNA waters. That's the word from the joint World Tuna Purse Seine Boat Owners (WTPO) and PNA members who met in Majuro, Marshall Island on 28 April, 2015.
The meeting discussed the current market situation for tuna, the low price for tuna in the global market and views from both WTPO and the PNA on the current situation.
The PNA representatives supported the WTPO to implement measures to reduce effort such as applying a minimum 7 to 10 day port turn around and offered to consider assistance for the implementation of that measure.
The two groups acknowledged the value of collaborating more closely in future on issues relating to FAD closures, effort reductions, misreporting, exchange of economic data and removing obstacles to development of PNA vessels for domestic fleet
High seas closure stirs debate
A recommendation to close fishing in the high seas to the east of PNA 200-mile exclusive economic zones has stirred opposition from the fishing industry. PNA Commercial Manager Maurice Brownjohn said PNA should halt access to fishing in an eastern high seas area as a condition for getting licenses to fish PNA waters.
“In the eastern high seas, we have created a second fishery that is undermining PNA,” Brownjohn said, adding that not only does PNA receive no revenue for fish caught in this high seas area, an increasing volume of bigeye tuna is being caught there even though “bigeye is in dire straights.”
Not surprisingly, the fishing industry is less than enthusiastic about the suggestion. “If the high seas are closed, the boats will have to buy fishing days from the VDS parties,” said Tri-Marine Chief Operating Officer Joe Hamby in late April. “Closing the high seas is therefore not a conservation measure but a means to increase demand for VDS days.”
American Tunaboat Association Executive Director Hallman said high seas closure in the eastern Pacific would have a “very negative impact” on the US fleet. “The eastern high seas area is even more important to US vessels since we have been largely excluded in 2015 from the waters of Kiribati, which are nearby,” Hallman explained.
Last year, scientists advised the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission that bigeye tuna stocks had declined to under 20 percent of their original biomass and were being over-fished. Despite this information, the Commission has been unable to get agreement from its members — both Pacific island nations and foreign fishing countries — to make significant cutbacks in bigeye effort on the high seas, particularly related to longline fleets.
In light of increasing tonnage of bigeye caught in the eastern high seas, Brownjohn says a closure would help reduce pressure on the stock as well as reducing the current over-supply of skipjack that has seen prices plummet.
Tuvalu to decide on VDS use
Tuvalu may source funds from its Vessel Day Scheme returns to patch up fisheries infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Pam.
A government source said however that these things will be decided by cabinet. Tuvalu as a member of the PNA uses its VDS funds in a Community Vessel Day Scheme (CVDS) fund for activities and infrastructure in communities.
Turkish firm eyes Solomons’ fish
Meanwhile, a recent statement from the Solomon Islands Government regarding a proposed fisheries venture has stakeholders curious about the outline of such a venture.
The Nazar Group of Companies plans to establish mini tuna canning plants in the Solomons, amongst other investments.
It is understood the company has met MPs from the Gao/Bugotu Constituency, Isabel Province/Gela Constituency and the Central Islands Province.
The Solomon Star newspaper quotes Policy Secretary of the Productive Sector in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gabriel Titili as saying the Nazar Group of Companies had seen other mini tuna cannery projects in the Government's Policy Statement and were interested in the projects.
Mr Titili said the total value of these respective investments that Nazar Group of Company will engage in, including the Kilu’ufi Referral Hospital, is SBD$2.0 Billion.
“These investments will create job opportunities for Solomon Islanders, increase foreign exchange earnings, increase production of local substitute value-added products hence national GDP and so on,” he said.
Nazar Gold (SI) Limited was established in Solomon Islands in 2013 by Turkish-Polish dual nationals to buy and export gold. Meanwhile,a company profile states that it has been a distributor of cookies, crackers,cakes, chocolate, and other products in Turkey for more than 40 years but there is no mention of experience in fisheries.
Solomons fisheries bill to ensure EU access
Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Government has passed a bill that will ensure continued access of its tuna to the EU market.
The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Commission states Fisheries Minister John Maneniaru says the European Union, the single most important market for the country’s tuna products, has put the Solomons on notice concerning certain obligatory measures which need to be reflected in legislation to ensure their access to the EU markets.
He said such a closure of the EU markets would result in the loss of 2,000 jobs in Noro and the Government cannot allow that to happen.
He says EU requirements are reflected in the new legislation to demonstrate that Solomon Islands is taking appropriate measures to align laws with international best practices.
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