Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 10

Issue 10, 2 March 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/marketintel10.pdf

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After initial reports flocked in that skipjack tuna prices in Bangkok would remain stagnant the latest indications are that prices have dropped further.

Latest reports are that they have dropped from US$1,150 per metric ton to US$1,050 per ton.

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Pacifical Applauds FAD free call

Maurice Brownjohn , Director of Pacifical, applauds calls by Cepesca secretary general (Confederation of Spanish Fishing Industry), Javier Garat, who is also President of Europeche, and Spanish Members of European Parliament for independently certified Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) free tuna.  

Brownjohn said: “We agree  that FAD free fish needs a very stringent chain of custody and independent 3rd party certification  for validation. Currently, only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) tuna meets that demand.”

EU, South Africa,  North American and Australian markets have shown a keen interest in MSC certified free school tuna – which is caught without FADs.


PNG yellow card update

Meanwhile, PNG's National newspaper reports that remedying the nation's EU yellow card status will take some time.

EU ambassador to PNG, Martin Dihm, said regulations that the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) would come up with to address the status would have to be taken to parliament for approval.

“It’s a complex process…to draft the necessary legislations and then also to present to the national executive council – all of these take time,” he said.

Dihm said a meeting held between the NFA and EU officials last December resulted in a decision to further extend for another six months. Initially, the authority was given only six months to act.

“We (EU) enjoy very good cooperation with the National Fisheries Authority,” said Dihm.  “We have had missions in the country who have looked through the legislations with the NFA and found all the points that needed strengthening in order to make sure that fish is not disappearing.”


PIPSO says EU report inaccurate

At the same time, Pacnews reported that the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) believes the European Union report on fisheries in the region does not reflect the real situation.

The EU report is designed to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and has yellow carded several Pacific countries including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. But a PIPSO Chief executive officer, Mereia Volvola, says the EU does not reflect progress made by regional organisations like the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Foreign Fisheries Agency.

Volvola said the report raises several questions because there was no consultation with regional organisations:

 “I believe they're biased. Biased in the sense that they are not fully reporting the progress that has been done here in the Pacific. The countries that have worked hard, the management system of fisheries that have been put in place. So maybe they're not fully acknowledging it.”


Kiribati fisheries revenue increases

Islands Business International reports Kiribati has seen a significant increase over the last few years in revenue earned from fishing licenses. From a relatively low figure of A$29 million in 2011, revenue increased to A$58 million in 2012 and then experienced huge growth in 2013 to reach A$89 million and a reported A$100 million in 2014.

That growth, however, could begin to taper off in 2015, as a result of the declaration of the Phoenix Islands group as a protected area. From January 2015, it is closed to commercial fishing. An initiative of the Anote Tong government, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) covers an area of 408,250 km2 (157,626 sq. miles), or 11.3% of Kiribati Exclusive Economic Zone. It is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world and the largest marine conservation effort of its kind by a Least Developed Country (LDC).


PNA members gear for new longline VDS   

With the signing by Marshall Islands late last year of a PNA plan for starting a vessel day scheme (VDS) for longline fishing vessels, the regional program will begin kicking into gear in all PNA member countries except for Papua New Guinea and Kiribati, which have not yet ratified the plan.

"It will take two-to-three years to develop the new system," said Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) Director Glen Joseph.
Among key elements for the new VDS are working with the other PNA islands to set "benchmark" prices for fishing days, and developing a monitoring protocol that will include onboard observers.

When PNA introduced the VDS for purse seiners, "they [industry] opposed it before it was implemented," said Joseph. "We're getting the same response from longliners."

But this doesn't please Joseph. An estimated 3,000 longliners are active in the Pacific region. "Longliners on the high seas are out of control," he said.

Joseph said despite difficulties in placing observers on longliners that do not offer the level of accommodation available on larger purse seiners, the goal should be to get 20 percent of the boats covered by onboard fisheries observers.


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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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