Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 39


World Tuna Purse Seine Boat Owners Association President (WTPO) Francisco Tiu Laurel said prices have dropped from US$1600 to US$1550 this fortnight.

"It went down a little as buyers were forcing it down and tried to buy bulk before the Fish Aggregating Device closure,” Laurel commented.Buyers now want to buy at US 1450 but sellers are holding off.
Parties to Nauru Agreement Commercial Manager Maurice Brownjohn the trend reflected slow demand rather than lack of supply in recent months. Slow fishing in the West compensated with additional supply from US boats hitting the market meant prices would flatten, he predicted.

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FSM plant to employ 1000s

An ambitious plan to set up a tuna loining plant in Pohnpei is likely to employ a thousand people if it gets off the ground, reports Kaselehlie Press.

A spokesperson for Frabelle Fishing Corporation unveiled the plan at the recent National Fisheries Summit. The proposed company to be called FSM Seafood Incorporated is a cooperative venture between Frabelle, Caroline Fisheries Corporation, a local Pohnpei purse seiner in partnership with the Pohnpei State Government and Silla Company, Limited, a Korean fishing company that operates in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and in the Atlantic Ocean.

Kaselehlie Press said the joint venture hopes to supply frozen cooked loins to canneries associated with the proponents and to Spain, EU, U.S., and other markets and has no plan to establish a cannery in FSM.

The initial capital outlay for the company is proposed to be $20 million.

The plan is ambitious for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the available work force in Pohnpei.

The proposal says that for the first year of operation the plant would operate on a single shift that would require approximately 500 workers. When it expands to two shifts in the second year, it would require approximately 1,000 workers. They are hoping to process as much as 60 metric tons of tuna per day, which they said would require 2,500 days of fishing under the PNA Vessel Day Scheme.

Tuna transshipment shows fishing in high gear

The best indication of tuna transshipment in any port is the number of “carrier” vessels anchored, waiting for purse seiners to off-load their catches of skipjack tuna. Compared to late January this year, when 11 carrier vessels were stationed in Port Majuro with only one transshipment operation taking place, the end of May showed a dramatically different picture.

A total of 18 transshipments by purse seiners were in progress or completed the last week of May to June 1. This represents over 20,000 tons of fish being off-loaded by purse seiners in Port Majuro.

By June 1, 18 carrier vessels were anchored in the lagoon, many of them actively loading tuna tonnage. This is nearly double the number of carriers that were in Port Majuro in January, indicating the surge in fishing activity that is reported to be taking to the south of the Marshall Islands’ exclusive economic zone. The 29 purse seiners in port during this period is also a high number, though not a record for this busy tuna transshipment port.

10,000 PNG women benefit from EU market

More than 10,000 women working in tuna factories are benefiting from the lucrative tuna markets in the European Union, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

He said the EU market was the largest recipient of PNG’s tuna, valued at around US$ 140 million (K437m) annually.

Opposition Leader Don Polye had asked O’Neill about the economic benefit of hosting the three-day African Caribbean Pacific meeting in Port Moresby 

O’Neill said the tuna industry was a substantial employment area for women working in tuna factories who directly looked after their families.

“That is why it is crucial that ACP and PNG continue to maintain a relationship with EU where we have preferential access to their markets,” he said. “And this allows us to provide employment to locals to be able to look after their families as well.”

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming said PNG signed and ratified the Interim EPA to ensure that the tuna market preferences and access into the EU market was not disrupted by end of 2007.

“The Interim EPA is unique for the Pacific Region because it offered the global sourcing provisions where raw fish materials can be sources globally but processed onshore in a Pacific State, qualifying it for the EU market duty free and quota free,” Zeming said.

Zeming said this was why the PNG Government has placed great emphasis on onshore processing.

“Consequently the PNG fisheries sector has experienced robust growth in the tuna industry in attracting foreign direct investments, increasing employment for Papua New Guineans, increased exports to the EU, and increased revenue to government.”

Nanumea Centre Changes Name

The Nanumea fishery center in Tuvalu has recently changed  its name to Nanumea Local Produced Center (NLPC) and  its focus has expanded to  other local food products beside tuna and other fish in order  for more  money to keep flowing into the center.

Manager of the Nanumea fishery center Taupaki Lopati  said meanwhile the center has started taking in local chicken, ducks and pork meat, breadfruits chips, fermented toddy and tradition root crops  pulaka (similar to taro).

He says most of the fish that were sold into the centre were preserved either salted and dried or smoked and then were transported to the capital to be sold to members of the public.

“We also sent raw fish, tuna and oily fish to the market on the capital depending on their need, but so far the most sought after products is salted tuna, and salted oily fish, for the islanders and even the people on the capital,” said Lopati.

The center also have a Executive Committee that assists the Manager in running the center. It’s composition included a woman representative, youth, and one of the family of chiefs.

“The new plan benefits each family on the island. In the meantime, we hope that the center can be improved, we need a seawall to be built to protect the center , as you know we are now right on the edge of the coast due to coastal erosion and the storm swells from TC Pam came right into the center, so the center is in a very risky location,  if another cyclone comes or storm swells, I don’t think the center will make it,” said Lopati.

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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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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