Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 4

Issue 4, 19 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%204.pdf or read this page for this edition.


The latest skipjack tuna prices on the Bangkok market show canners bidding for a low US$1,150 per metric ton, whilst traders opt for US$1,200 per metric tonne. Traders are asking for a compromise on price, but medium and smaller canneries are going to follow the lead of the big buyers, sources said. It looks like either the price will drop to that low or it will begin a rise as boats begin to wrap up fishing activities for the year.

PNA CEO Dr Transform Aqorau said in September that fishing companies were smartening up and stocking their tuna during the period of Fishing Aggregate Device closures and this has been evident on the market since.

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***Review of VDS by an independent panel***

As Parties to Nauru Agreement Ministers (from eight nations) huddled in Tuvalu last week - the major issue being whispered in the corridors was the independent review of the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS).

Aptly dubbed the game changer in skipjack tuna fisheries, the VDS has come under scrutiny throughout the region and by distant water fishing nations who are scrambling for a piece of the action.

The PNA presented the independent review to PNA Ministers. It is expected to become a bioeconomic model for the fishery in the region considering the size of the stock and how PNA can continue to increase the value of its resource.

"The size of skipjack stock is still very large and healthy and we know skipjack can sustain further increases but we are also aware of the economics," PNA chief executive Doctor Transform Aqorau said."The value of the day continues to go up in spite of the number of boats - so we are looking at these issues quite seriously in terms of continuing to work to increasing the value of the day."

***PNA picks two for top WCPFC jobs***

PNA Ministers will be shifting their weight behind Ms Rhea Moss-Christian (RMI) and Feleti Teo (Tuvalu) for the roles of WCPFC Chair and Executive Director respectively, as the distance to the annual WCPFC meeting gets shorter.

The WCPFC elects a Chairman and Vice-Chairman (of different nationalities) from among the members for a two-year term. The two positions were held by Dr Charles Karnella (United States) and Dr Glenn Hurry (Australia) respectively.

***Dr Aqorau to continue in top PNA office post***

Whilst top regional media outlets like Islands Business highlighted his departure from PNA earlier this year - the PNA ministerial meeting in Tuvalu has asked Dr Transform Aqorau to continue for another year, meaning he will lead the charge for PNA at the WCPFC in December and see a smooth transition for the year 2016.

This is a welcome sign as the PNA is facing a crucial review of its VDS days and is positioning itself as the model bargaining bloc for future fishing agreements in the future in the PNA and the region.

***PNG auction successful***

Following the successful auction of fishing days by Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority, it looks like fishing days are going to rise above the US$10,000 mark.

NFA has just adopted its new tuna management plan in which it claims has actually 'reduced' the number of fishing days in archipelagic waters and also 'heightened up' access by foreign fishing vessels.

They ran a tender and auction for days for 2015 and 92 per cent of the bids were bought for US$10,000 and above. PNA's Dr Aqorau said phasing out access negotiations replacing them with auctions and tenders, as PNG had shown, is the way ahead and this would break up the stranglehold that associations have in controlling the outcomes of access negotiations.

***PNG looks forward to end of yellow card***

PNG’s NFA is also keen on lifting their yellow card status, which was slapped on them by the European Union for failing to put in place various processes and checks regarding illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

***NFA officials reported that talks held last month with the EU were satisfying and a good sign for them going forward with their reforms***

National Fisheries Authority Managing Director John Kasu said: “NFA staff presented their updates on the actions taken so far, and the European Union delegation has been able to advise us on what else we might be able to do to address the concerns.”

***Cook Islands to be in VDS?***

The PNA ministerial meeting has agreed to amend the Palau Arrangement to remove the provision whereby FFA members who are not Party to the Nauru Agreement can accede to the Arrangement automatically. This means that Parties will have to be invited to participate in the VDS .

The necessary amendments will be effectuated in 2015 to enable the Cook Islands to participate in the Vessel Day Scheme in 2016 on terms that will be negotiated.

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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