Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 6

Issue 6, 30 December 2014

Your fortnightly report on trends and influencers on the global tuna market from the Pacific Islands. Click this link to read PDF: - See more at: http://www.pnatuna.com/sites/default/files/marketintel6.pdf


As 2014 draws to an end, Skipjack Tuna prices on the Bangkok Tuna market have stayed at a low of US$1,150 per metric tonne and US$1,180 per metric tonne, tuna insiders report.

However, pressure from traders could see the prices being bumped to $1,250/t for December. They expect prices to reach US$1,200 this month (December).

As the prices fluctuate and are influenced by the canners - the Parties to Nauru Agreement will have the opportunity to play their cards when issuing fishing days under the Vessel Day Scheme next year. Send us your tips to marketintel@pnatuna.com .


***Tuna industry woes another WCPFC failure***

We may have not heard the end of the disastrous Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting in Apia early this month, but some important stakeholders continue to join a long list of tuna advocates who are concerned with the outcomes.

The Pacific Island Tuna Industry Association (PITIA) executive meeting in Brisbane lately noted with grave concern and disappointment the failure, yet again, of the 11th annual session of WCPFC to make any substantive progress in considering pressing issues relating to Pacific tuna fisheries management. "Despite the efforts of FFA and PNA secretariats and members, discussions of key issues for tropical tuna and albacore were stalled by the Distant Water Fishing Nations countries resulting in no progress being made," PITIA's secretariat said.

"PITIA believes that the faith in WCPFC as a functional RFMO is now eroded to the extent that there is no longer confidence in Commission processes to effectively manage the Pacific tuna fisheries. It is also clear that the interests of Small Island Developing States as reflected in the convention simply receive lip service and are not sufficiently taken into account.”

PITIA concluded its members needed to manage the fisheries themselves through avenues such as the agreements of the PNA and the recently forged agreement on Southern Albacore longline fishing.

***Palau updated on tuna stocks***

Palau has received its latest updates on tuna stocks as it prepared to attend the WCPFC meeting in Apia.
Nanette Malsol, Director, from the Bureau of Ocean and Fishery Management presented the summary of the stocks during a Palau Ocean Summit in October.

Ms. Malsol presented the estimated percentage of reproduction biomass of tuna species left in Palau waters. The report showed that skipjack tuna is at a healthy level for reproduction. Whilst yellowfin tuna was also in a similar state it needs a certain amount of attention to keep stock healthy.

However, other tuna species like bigeye and bluefin are now at low and critical levels of reproduction and presents a grave outlook for the species.
Management of sharks are is important for Palau with its diving tourism, and Palau has led in shark conservation efforts.

***Good news for Wewak fishing in Papua New Guinea***

The South Seas Tuna Company in Wewak, East Sepik has been eyeing a production output of 10,000 metric tons of frozen loins for the full year, company President Mike McCulley revealed. However, he said SSTC will only ship close to 8,500 metric tons of frozen loins this year: “2014 was a challenging year. We (SSTC) were closed for the first 10 weeks of the year because we had to install a new floor in our cold storage. We also lost a week of production in September because we could not get enough time at the wharf to unload the fish. This of course negatively impacted our results.”

Production was limited due to the amount of unloading time they had at the wharf, said McCulley: “We lost a week of production due to lack of unloading time. We see this becoming a very critical issue.”

McCulley said next year the company expects adequate unloading time to meet an increased targeted output of approximately 13,500 metric tons.

The majority of South Seas’ product is sold in the EU market.

***Tuvalu announces new community projects***

Whilst other nations are happy the PNA Vessel Day Scheme revenue is increasing, the small island of Tuvalu sees that returns will increase and benefits will be realised by community members. The Tuvaluans have taken their proceeds from the PNA's VDS and dubbed it Community Vessel Day Scheme (CVDS) as the funds are aimed at increasing development on the outer islands of Tuvalu.

Secretary of Natural Resources Kakee Kaitu said, Tuvalu expects to receive US$15 million next year when it sells 1876 fishing days under the new minimum benchmark of US$8000 per fishing day. From the 1876 days, 20 days will be given to Kaupule (the council of chiefs) of each island for the development of their fisheries sector.

“ If you multiply US$8000 by 20 days, each island community will get $160,000 in a year," Mr Kaitu said. “A cabinet paper detailing the CVDS had been submitted for endorsement and had received positive feedback."

***Light at end of tunnel***

Despite 2014 ending with bleak fortunes at WCPFC level, interest from a range of stakeholders and demand for tuna remains solid. PNA reports the upside of the WCPFC failure is increased emphasis on its PNA management measures and national development policies as the primary vehicle for change. Other sectors of the industry, like albacore tuna are likely to follow suit. It will be interesting times as 2015 begins to see how all these initiatives play out.

Tuna Market Intelligence wishes everyone a happy festive season and a prosperous New Year.

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

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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