Long liner - allowing Foreign Fishing Vessels in to our Chuuk Fishing territory.

edited May 2007 in General
During the past two administration, fishing vessels were of great help to our local revenue collection. I do not have idea on how much did we charged each vessels during those two administration. I know for sure, that we collected enough to help other expenses within our local government. It is sad, of course, that these foreign fishing vessels were using us in a way or actually getting away with millions of dollars from such activity. Well, i quess that was then, but now, we should be thinking of any means to earn back what we have lost from them vessels. Shall we allow them back to our water?

Comments

  • Kairu,

    That is quite an interesting question you're raising for Amended Compact Chuuk State: Should Chuuk work to return the longline fishing fleets back to Chuuk? As you also pointed out, during First Compact Chuuk State, that question was one heck of a problem for Chuuk State and the Chuukese people.

    Personally, amongst the many issues with the long liners/transhippers like Ting Hong, I would like a second shot at those buggers. I cannot forget they way they fooled the islanders like escaping their corporate liabilities by reincorporating in the Marshalls to escape liabilities in the FSM and similar complex international business issues like that. Sometimes it just felt like we the islanders were not adequately prepared for the complexity of the kinds of operations and felt like we were screwed. Even the issue of fuel sales tax for some of the state governments was a frustrating experience since Ting Hong was determined to outsmart our state governemnts by prepurchasing fuel outside the FSM to avoid the FSM state sales taxes. That was such a stunning defeat for our local governments since one of the theoritical benefits from the whole long line/transhippment operation was the potential revenues to our local governments and businesses.

    So, before we can bring them back, let's first make sure we can do it right this time.
  • Hey Kairu,

    Interesting topic you have posted.... I believe this type of business in Micronesia can generate tons of revenues into our government. But, I also believe that before we start giving green lights to these type of business in our islands, especially with Taiwanese and Chinese people who have been fishing all their lives,…oh boy, we need to be extra cautious about these type of business because they can deplete much of our local source of living. But like I said, it helps alot with local revenues and provide jobs to our local people.
  • Kairu, I agree with the general thrust of your views, that is for Chuuk State Government to look for ways to make money. The money it made from those Ting Hong vessels transshipping out of Chuuk was significant, as I understand, not just from berthing/mooring charges, but from privisioning of fuel and supplies from the Chuuk fuel depot and stores. The State became more greedy so they decided to levy a higher fee, and that was the end of the lucrative fishing business in Chuuk, only exacerbated by the occasional harassment, stealings and threats visited upon the fishing vessels' crew by certain Chuukese thugs. Many went to RMI and some came to Pohnpei and their financial contribution was felt happily here.

    We lost something we should have not lost. But, I agree with Taxi that we need to give it some propoer planning if we are to make Chuuk regain its attrativeness for transshipment hub, much more ideal than Pohnpei. Just for your information, the current administration is talking with a Chinese company from Shenyang City, in northern China, for a fishing venture. I have been talking with the Lt. Governor on this proposed fishing relationship in terms of giving them advice on the reputation of this company, which has expertise only in marketing but not fishing and processing. I doubt that Chuuk only wants to market fish, even if it does, what fish are they going to market when there is nobody fishing it and processing it. I have advised Chuuk to look at it in a holistic comprehensive fashion because it is more lucrative and appealing as a renvenue-generating source. But, this is the kind of example we ought to be careful about, not to rush to consummate relationship without looking properly into the reputation of such foreign companies, decide first what we want out of such relationship and so forth, before actually entering into a fishing arrangement. We have enough in the history book on fishing practices in the FSM to inform us about this kind of foreign venture.
  • In light of our present economic situation, Mr. Kairu, I think this topic of yours is worth discussing.

    Of course, the past has its records that will assist to chart the course of re-entering this lucaritive industry. There were areas of the fishing industry that were not penetrated and explored, however, the business life cut short. It wasn't even that long before the first Chuuk major fishing project extinguished.

    To make it short, there are several worthwhile good reasons to re-enter this industry but, as others alluded to, WE MUST PLAN WELL while learning from our past. Let's not just jump shot without proper planning. Perhaps, new measures are worthy to be established to protect project continuity, i.e., laws, policy, community support measures, etc.

    Kinisou Chapur.
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