Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 7

Issue 7, 16 January 2015

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/marketintel7.pdf


Good news to kick off the New Year for canners as skipjack prices on the Bangkok Tuna Market seem to have stayed at a low of US$1,150 per metric tonne and a high of US$1,180 per metric tonne.

This will not go down well with the fishing as insiders report an over supply of fish.

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***Oversupply hits***

Meanwhile, the sale of two purse seiners scheduled for the Western and Central Pacific Oceans is reported as a result of the over supply of fish in the market.

US-based tuna group Tri Marine International is in the process of selling one of two purse seiners close to being finished in a Spanish yard to Albacora Group, the owner of the largest fishing fleet in Europe. Both the vessels, Cape Ann and Cape Coral, which were launched at the Astilleros Armon Gijon shipyard on the northern coast of Spain in September, were set to operate from Pago Pago, American Samoa, where Tri Marine is inaugurating its Samoa Tuna Processors cannery.

Sources have identified Albacora as the possible buyer of one of the vessels and the other is thought to be up for sale. Both over 80 meters of length, the vessels have 20 freezing tanks with a total capacity of 1,728 cubic meters and will be able to freeze almost immediately a total of 250 metric tons of fish a day.
Marshalls fishing days in demand

PNA nations like the Marshall Islands continue to work on scarcity by reducing fishing days for 2015 and 2016.This is expected to result in higher than the benchmark prices for days sold to bilateral partners. The minimum fishing day price rose to US$8,000 on January 1.

Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) Director Glen Joseph confirmed that days are at a premium in 2015 — so much so that companies are already talking with MIMRA to secure fishing days for 2016.

The Marshall Islands has only about 2,500 days for the year and is giving priority to its local purse seiners as well as committing about one-third of its days to U.S.-flagged purse seiners fishing under the U.S. Pacific fisheries treaty.

“There is no way we will have enough days for the 12 locally-based purse seiners, the U.S. Treaty and bilateral partners,” said Joseph. “The message coming from all PNA members is we are going to maintain the limit and tighten allowance for non-fishing days.”

He predicts some boats will be tied up at dock this year because this situation will force fishing companies to give limited days to the larger, more efficient vessels: “We don’t have days. Fishing companies will have to cut the number of vessels because we won’t have days for them.”

***Tuvalu to train sailors for purse seiners***

Tuvalu sailors are gearing up for employment on purse seiners as the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute (TMTI) will train locals for purse seiner vessels fishing in PNA waters.

This follows several meetings held last year between the TMTI officials Captain Iefata Paeniu, senior fisheries officers and government representatives.

Director of Fisheries Samasoni Finikaso said talks were initiated to introduce a new course at TMTI to equip local seafarers with relevant skills to work on purse seine vessels fishing in Pacific waters.“There are about 290 purse seiners fishing in Pacific waters and we have a lot of seafarers who are currently unemployed who could be employed on purse seiners” said Finekaso.

This is part of the PNA requirement to have 10 percent coverage of crewing on purseiners fishing in Pacific waters, Mr Finikaso said.

***NFA unveils plans***

Papua New Guinea's National Fisheries Authority (NFA) reported 2015 would be a year of concessions to fish and process fish in exchange for increased domestic economic development.
From January this year, National Fisheries Authority Acting Managing Director Philip Polon said it was strategic about maximizing local benefits: “Most tuna caught in PNG waters is being exported unprocessed; some of the tuna processed in PNG is imported at high cost to process. This has direct implications of reduced employment in our designated ports, local businesses and other direct and indirect spin-off economic activities and benefits accrued to PNG are not being fully realised. Furthermore, many processing operations are claiming to be running at losses, although associated fishing ventures are not mentioned.”

According to NFA, access to PNG waters this year would be reduced from 9,000 to 5,500 days reflecting removal of un­associated foreign effort facilitated
under the pretext of supplying shore-based processors. The domestic industry will have priority in the economic exclusive zone waters, with up to a further 5,500 days available.

Polon said: “Each company who has had access in 2013 shall receive 20 percent of last years (2013) individual usage [after NFD claims] at the regionally agreed benchmark price of US$8,000 a day for this year’s licensing period.”

Each company shall be further invited to tender for up to 70% of the previous year’s usage, noting some would only receive the base 20% if their bid price is low.
All foreign boats are required to land 10% of their catch for processing onshore.

***Fishing days for 2015 across PNA***

As we move into the second week of January the Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) has already started to move on the total allowable effort (TAE) which is 45,610 days. The below graph shows how much days remain in each PNA nation up to January 11, 2015 and the days already used in VDS Participants’ EEZ are coloured yellow.

From left to right: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, PNG, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu.

See graph here: http://www.pnatuna.com/sites/default/files/marketintel7.pdf

ABOUT TUNA MARKET INTELLIGENCE 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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