Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 41


Bangkok sources say skipjack prices stand at US$1400 per metric  tonnes.

Tri Marine International Managing Director Phil Roberts confirmed the price attributing it to good supply and demand of tuna.

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PNA office releases analysis of new US agreement

The PNA has done its own analysis on the pros and cons of the latest US Treaty renegotiation. On the upside,the US fleet is now subject to national laws (in the previous Treaty it over-rode national laws),the US fleet will also be fully subject to the Vessel Day Scheme without exemptions, and efforts by the US to meddle with the PNA’s Scheme have been rejected.

On the downside, PNA was less happy about the fact Vessel Day Scheme participants are obligated to offer days to the US fleet at a fixed price for 4 years and the US fleet doesn’t have to buy them, plus the arrangement tends to undermine the leverage of the VDS for investment in domestic development because it provides long term access for the US fleet without them having to invest in Pacific countries.

The PNA is also concerned with arrangements for the US Government to be notified of changes to the Vessel Day Scheme and arrangements for additional days.

They feel these concessions have been made solely for the purpose of securing the US Government $21m Pacific-wide contribution, which will largely benefit the non-PNA countries which fishing nations are less interested in.

Tri Marine confident MSC status to boost Pacifical brand

Tri Marine says its own Marine Stewardship Council Certification status, proving its tuna is caught sustainably,will augur well for sales of the Parties to Nauru Agreement/Pacifical brand.

Tri Marine has achieved MSC certification of two fisheries.  One is for skipjack and yellowfin caught by US flag purse seiners operating out of American Samoa fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention area.The other is for Solomon Island flag purse seiners and pole and line boats catching yellowfin and skipjack within Solomon Islands’ archipelagic waters and Exclusive Economic Zone. 

Tri Marine Internationals Managing Director Phil Roberts said they had been working closely with PNA/Pacifical to supply PNA MSC skipjack to a major Australian brand John West: "This marked the first major MSC contract for Pacifical and Tri Marine is proud to have partnered with Pacifical and the brand concerned on this exciting project.

With the PNA fishery being the most sizeable source of MSC certified skipjack/yellowfin in the world, we are confident that this will be a catalyst for much more MSC business for Pacifical.” 

Roberts said it will be business as usual in terms of its relationship with PNA: "Tri Marine’s client vessels will continue to operate under PNA’s MSC certification and supply the volumes required as demand continues to increase. In addition to our partnership with PNA, our own MSC fisheries certification expands MSC certification to now cover a larger proportion of the fishing grounds for our US and Solomon Islands’ fishing fleets, which are not included in the PNA assessment, including Solomon Islands archipelagic waters, US territorial waters, and the waters of other non-PNA member countries."

Solomon Islands working to rectify ‘Yellow Card’

The Solomon Islands government is working with the European Union to lift the yellow card this year, Pacnews reports.

Solomon Islands was yellow carded and issued a warning in 2014 by the EU. This was because they did not comply with the IUU regulations (Illegal Unreported and Unregulated) on fishing activities in the region.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka said they will take a paper to cabinet before signing an agreement with EU to lift the yellow card. However, he said the process will take time to complete.

Leonidas Tezapsidis, EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu said it will take a lot of consultation before the yellow card is removed.

Vessel Day Scheme Longline workshop a success

The Chairman of the Parties to Nauru Agreement Technical Working Group and Director of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources  Edward Honiwala said their first meeting held at Munda Western Province recently was a success.

This meeting had brought together representatives from the eight PNA member countries to deliberate on issues relating to Longline Vessel Day Scheme and how it can be implemented by member countries starting in 2017.Honiwala said the meeting also looked at minimum license terms and conditions and reviewing the longline VDS Text.

Under the minimum license terms and conditions, all vessels are required to register on the Vessel Day Scheme register, this is to allow all vessels to be access on the Fisheries Information and Management System (FIMS).

“With this system, we can have control over the actual fishing days by monitoring the fishing vessels activities within our EEZ”, he said.

Eastern Tuna Commission considers Ecuador proposal for global tuna ban

Last week, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) met near San Diego to consider new measures to regulate the Eastern Pacific's fishery, Pacnews reports. 

 At this year's gathering, the Commission faces an unusual request: the delegation from Ecuador's tuna industry – the largest in the region – has called for a “global ban” on tuna fishing.

 The delegation, comprised of the leaders of Ecuador’s chamber of fishing and several fishing industry executives, says that existing Eastern Pacific catch targets have been met, and it is time for Asian tuna fisheries to take up similar measures. 

The Commission does not have members in the Western Pacific, and if adopted, the Ecuadorian petition would be largely symbolic. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, a separate body, coordinates fisheries in the South Pacific islands and in Asia. 

Others are also calling for widespread protections for tuna species. The overwhelming majority of Mexico’s tuna firms have declared a voluntary ban on Pacific bluefin take until the end of the decade. NGOs have weighed in as well: on June 20, over a dozen environmental organisations petitioned the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list the Pacific bluefin as a federally-protected endangered species. 


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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