Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 2

Issue 2, 15 October 2014

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/Market%20Intel%201.pdf or read this page for this edition.


Skipjack tuna prices on the Bangkok Tuna market are expecting to take a further plunge, in the next month, Bangkok tuna insiders predict.
This time expect prices to drop to an all time low of US$1000 per metric tonne.

But wait there is light at the end of the abyss as fishing vessels head back to port for the end of the fishing season which should see prices jump back again.

Tuna stakeholders have recently attributed the flooding of the tuna market to newer, better equipped boats and advanced fishing techniques which has hit at the demand side of the equation and in turn the drop in prices.

Tuna prices quoted at the Bangkok tuna market have plunged to an all time low US$1350 per metric tonne of skipjack in the last week of September but were reported to have dropped further to US$1280 per metric tonne.

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***Parties to Nauru Agreement big day***

Interesting times coming up with the Parties to Nauru Agreement as they head to Tuvalu for the annual PNA Ministers meeting from November 10-11.

High on the agenda is the latest update on fisheries, a report on the review of the Vessel Day Scheme, reports on transparency, WCPFC measures, FAD tracking and registration plus an update on the US treaty.

The US treaty has now been set at US$90m for 8300 Vessel Day Scheme fishing days for 2015 - a significant increase from the US63m the Pacific Island Parties secured from the US for 2014.

There are still some issues to be ironed out between the PNA nations who will be getting the chunk of the US$90m but 15 per cent goes to non-PNA nations who make up the Forum Fisheries Agency.

An interesting development would be how the PNA deals with FAD closures and related issues. PNA CEO Dr Transform Aqorau said there would be no more FAD closures, but they would instead be looking at FAD charges. The PNA is working on a proposal with Japan on strengthening the FAD measure. There is also a good likelihood of a FAD registration and monitoring system on the not so distant horizon.

***Tuvalu’s tuna to benefit from treaty***

Talking about the PNA meeting, the hosts Tuvalu rely heavily on their fishery for economic wealth. Fisheries provides a whopping 40 per cent of total government revenue for the small island economy.

Last month, Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga signed and ratified the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement, at the United Nations Small Islands Developing States meeting in Samoa. The agreement seeks to enhance regional coordination and cooperation in fisheries surveillance and law enforcement, and increase the ability of Pacific Island countries to effectively enforce their fisheries laws.

However, with a total of 900,000 sq km of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and only one patrol boat, they hope the treaty will live up to its word.

***Latest review of Kiribati fishery released***

Kiribati has just completed a review of their fishery with some surprising findings. While their EEZ is large, they also suffer from seasonal variations so the tuna moves as weather changes so to speak.

From low fishing revenue of Australian $29m in 2011, their revenue has increased to A$58m in 2012 and experienced a huge growth in 2013 to reach A$89m. Kiribati earns a huge chunk of that from their own bilateral fishing access agreements plus the lucrative US treaty and their latest EU treaty.

The review states, the EU fisheries agreement pays a lump sum and various fees to Kiribati for catches up to 15,000 tonnes. EU vessels can continue fishing beyond 15,000 mt but must pay 250 -300 euros for every additional tonne.

The fee for tonnage is equivalent to approximately $6,600 per day in 2014, slightly higher than the minimum price under the Vessel Day Scheme (US$6,000 per day in 2014).

But under the terms of the EU Agreement, this can only be earned if four purse seiners fish in Kiribati waters each year. With the VDS price expected to increase further, it will be hard for outsiders to negotiate longer terms and treaties.

***Spanish to meet PNG Officials***

Stakeholders in the largest PNA nation, Papua New Guinea, have been invited with fellow Pacific fisheries officials to meet Spanish Government officials in Spain this week.

Spain has a fleet of vessels fishing in Kiribati waters under the EU bilateral and it is most certain that tuna will at the top of their minds in discussions. Solomon Islands, Tuvalu Nauru and Vanuatu will also be attending the meeting.

The PNG newspaper The National quotes Spain's Ambassador to PNG, Enrique Viguera in Canberra, as saying they want to encourage a better understanding between the Pacific Island States and Spain about fisheries. Once again the Spanish, like the EU, are tagging trade and investment, management of resources, stock conservation policies, scientific research, environment sustainability, to the tuna deal. The EU has already issued a yellow card to PNG for not improving IUU matters regarding their fishery and now talks go ahead whilst the fishery is under review.Throw in an offer to visit Spain's soccer facility in the meeting schedule and we might have a whole new ball game.

***Marine Stewardship Council adds labour to the list***

The Marine Stewardship Council which assesses sustainability standards in the industry has bumped up its criteria by adding forced labour.
Those who wish to be certified under MSC standards must now comply with these anti- forced labour requirements.

Recently illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has been tagged to illegal activities like drugs, people smuggling and in some cases forced labour.

Conformity Assessment Bodies have up to April 2015 to ensure the fishery complies or lose certification.

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/Tuna-Market-Intelligence

Get In Contact With Us

Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA)
PNA Office PO Box 3992

Majuro, Marshall Islands
MH 96960
Phone: +692 625 7626/7627
Fax: +692 625 7628

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