Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 3

Issue 3, 3 November 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%203.pdf or read this page for this edition.


Good news seems to be looming on the horizon for Pacific Tuna boat owners and the Parties to Nauru Agreement members.

The Bangkok Tuna market did not drop to US$1000 per metric tonne as predicted but to S$1150 per metric tonne of Skipjack Tuna last month in what is expected to be the lowest since downspiralling prices began this year.

Market insiders say boats are heading back to shore and this should be the end of the downward trend.


***Fishing trends still in the east but slowly moving westward in PNA waters***

Fishing patterns in PNA waters for this year have been largely concentrated around the eastern half of the region, although now there is an uptake of days in the western region. These patterns have been influenced largely by environmental factors.

The US Treaty fleets have also fished the same patterns. 49.6% of the fleet have fished in the waters of Kiribati, 17% in Nauru, 10.4% in FSM, and less than 10% in the remaining Parties’ Exclusive Economic Zones, reflecting the patterns of fishing so far this year. 75% of the effort was in the waters of Kiribati while the remaining 25% was expended in other PNA country and Tokelau’s EEZs.

***To give days to US or not? That’s the question***

In light of this fishing activity, its not surprising the question of how many fishing days PNA countries will give to the US Treaty has stirred the Pacific teacup.

Parties to Nauru Agreement CEO Dr Transform Aqorau has cleared the air recently about Kiribati holding back on fishing days to the United States fishing fleet under the US treaty.

Dr Aqorau told Radio New Zealand last month that the US wants 8000 days for their fleet and each PNA nation has to contribute from their indivdual quota.

However, he said, since days are becoming more valuable now, if their days are being bought by the other partners, then they can't give anymore days to the Treaty, which is what Kiribati has said. Other PNA countries might have days that are available and so they have made more days available for the treaty.

Dr Aqorau said the US fleet should continue to fish under the treaty, but PNA countries should not to be tied down to being forced to give up their days to the Treaty.
The treaty has been signed for 1 year for 2015 that would be allocating US$90 million for 8300 days. 300 will come from the non-PNA and 8000 from the PNA. Out of this, Kiribati is allocating 300 days.

Dr Aqorau commented: "The vessel day scheme, the purse seine vessel day scheme, has significantly transformed the power play in this fishery. Whereas before it was the fishing vessels and all that, who have been dictating the fishery, now they are in control of it. It’s a tool they have that allows them to set the pace rather than having to go and negotiate. But it’s a work in progress. It's still a cultural change, it's still a generational change, that we need to get over to do business differently from the past."

***Tuvalu's days reach to outer islands***

Meanwhile, as Tuvalu prepares to host the next PNA meeting next week, Tuvalu's Sopoaga Government is certainly pinning a lot of hopes on fishing and the increase in Vessel Day Scheme fishing days.

Their Home Affairs Minister, Namoliki Neemia, announced that all islands in the country will get a portion of returns Tuvalu gets from its fishing days as a result of the increased price for fishing days.

He told Islanders on Nukufetau Island that fishing days for Tuvalu amounted to 1,850 days at US$6000 per fishing day. PNA Ministers agreed to discuss increase this cost to US$8000 when they met in Majuro in June.

He said that each island will get the returns of twenty fishing days which will assist developments of fishery centers on the outer islands.

***Tax incentive to lure more business***

Luring vessels to fish in PNA waters is easy, but luring companies to actually do business may require some different baits.

Tuvalu has introduced such incentives by amending the Tuvalu Tax Act.

Fong Wah, which has a partnership with Tuvalu in a joint fishing venture, has also made proposals in drafting of the act.

The joint venture is the biggest tax payer in Tuvalu to date and has reached US$1.9 million so far this year.
The government is expected to introduce the act in parliament before the end of the year to benefit from the increased fishing activity.

PNA will meet in Funafuti, Tuvalu next week.

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

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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