The following is from this morning's (2/8/10) Pacific Islands Report:

Fisheries expert Aquorau to be based in Marshalls

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb. 3, 2010) – A group of eight Pacific Island countries have chosen a new leader to spearhead their campaign to capture a bigger slice of the economic benefits from the Pacfic's multi-billion dollar tuna fishery.

The group, made up of Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, has appointed Transform Aquorau, from the Solomon Islands.

Dr Aquorau, a recognised expert on the Pacific Tuna fishery, says the group, known as the Nauru group or the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), is extremely important in the fishing economy.

"These eight countries control about 60 percent of the global tuna supply," he said.

The members' combined 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zones interlock covering a huge expanse of the Pacific Ocean where a lot of the tuna are caught.

The group's new headquarters is being set up in the Marshall Islands, and the Director of the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority, Glen Joseph says its hoped Pacific Islands will be able to increase their share of fishing money.

"The amount and the value of the fishery taken out of the Pacific Island waters amounts to about four billion dollars," he said. "And by all assessments the Pacific Islands are not getting a fair share of that four billion dollars."


  • get use to it Saram Chuuk (Julia)!
  • thats the reason why our economy is %$#@()
  • Wow!
    Sarem, thanks for this update... The kine I nike...I hate that part Pacific islands not getting a fair share... Someone has to look in to that...Taking 60% out of its water and not getting a fair share? Something is wrong...
  • Sarem,
    Do you mind finding out how much we FSM put out? I am talking about the amount of fish catches in our FSM water.. I am always interested to know that... Just so you know, the internet source for catch per quota in FSM is not very relevant.. They all wear out documents.. Need something is more up to date.. if you don't mind Sarem and I beg you.

  • And what happens to the Tuna Commission?
  • thanks for the report


  • 29ers:

    As you know, that is a virtually impossible task. I have been able to determine the following:

    Title 24 of the FSM Code controls foreign fishing issues. Title 24 was repealed and re-enacted in 2002, by the 12th FSM Congress. Unfortunately, the amended Title is not available on the FSM Congress website, so it is not possible to determine through internet research what the current law says.

    The most recent information I have been able to find indicates that the FSM receives fishing license fees of approximately $20 million per year. (Source: Country Brief, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, November 26, 2008 published by eStandards Forum.) Other information indicates this may be approximately 3.5% of the market value of the fish taken. (Source: "Overweight in the Pacific: Links between foreign dependence, global food trade, and obesity in the Federated States of Micronesia," published 2006.)

    One particularly confusing statement was contained in the FSM Congress News for October 22, 2004. The following is the statement in its entirety:

    "Today the Committee on Resources and Development discussed three fishing agreements with officials of NORMA, which NFC submitted for congressional review and approval.

    One of the agreements will extend the time for certain fishing boats currently long-lining in FSM waters. This agreement proposed to last three years. With the current agreement, there is $14,000 collected as license fees for each 25 vessels per year and with the new agreement, there will be $22,000 for each 40 vessels for a three-year term."

    I believe this contains a syntax error, which alters its intended meaning. According to the release, the old long-line licensing fee was $14,000 per vessel per year. If you read the statement literally, the NEW fee (as of 2004) will be $22,000 per vessel "for a three year term." This would be, if the statement is read literally, only $7,333 per year, a 50% reduction in annual fees for long-line fishing vessels. I believe that this statement intended to report that the fee would be increased to $22,000 per vessel PER YEAR for a three year term, but I cannot be certain.

    Clearly, the best source of information would be the executive branch, or your Congressman, especially if your Congressman (no women, of course) serves on the Committee on Resources and Development.

    Father Hezel, in an article published in Micronesian Seminar in 2005, addressed the failure of FSM fishing ventures, which have collectively lost money (despite receiving in excess of $50 million in direct FSM funding) over the years. Father Hezel states "Given all the uncertainties in the tuna industry, a reasonable return is about 5 percent of the market value of the fish. This is, in fact, approximately what FSM has been receiving in the fishing license fees that it issues to foreign fleets to enable them to fish in FSM waters. The yearly total brought in by these fees has ranged from just over $20 million to about $12 million a year. Perhaps the FSM government, which has lost millions in failed ventures, might do better to recognize the limited potential of tuna fishing, withdraw from the operational side of the business, and continue to take what it can get from fishing license fees.

    If a "reasonable return" is 5% of the market value, and if the article referred to above is correct that the actual amount received is 3.5%, then it is clear by any measure that the FSM is not receiving fair value for its most valuable resource.
  • edited February 2010
    This is nothing new to these nations- at least this time, they realize that a uniform, assertive and collective message carries more weight when dealing with these multibillion dollars fishing companies than what each of them has been doing for the past many years-underselling its fishing value. This is economic empowerment for these 8 Pacific nations. Keep us posted Sarem. FSMPIO- please share whatever you have on this. Kinisou
  • For those who are interested, I found the following this AM in an article dated February 4, 2010 in the Pacific Islands Report about president Mori's trip to Israel:

    "According to a report by the Asian Development Bank on the Contribution of Fisheries in the Pacific Economies, nearly half of the formal workforce for these regions is reliant upon agriculture and fishing. In 1997, the Federated States of Micronesia exported 94.7 percent of the total fishery production. However, according to records kept by the Micronesian Fisheries Authority, Micronesia has received over US $170 million for the rights to fish for tuna since 1979 and has had seven foreign fishing agreements since 1999. While resources are plentiful, the island’s leaders are concerned that Micronesia lacks the knowledge and funds to take full advantage of the industry."

    If this is true (it is the most recent information I have found), then the average income from fisheries in the FSM over the past 30 years (1979 through 2009) is about $6 million per year. This from what sources indicate is the most productive tuna fishery in the Western Pacific Ocean.
  • edited February 2010
    Sarem, thanks much for the updates.. Keep it coming so I know where to go... For the license fees, It'll be a great issue to discuss after knowing all the notions regards the catch per quota. Unfortunately, too bad you honestly stated that it is impossible to find online. I guess it is a very important issue to discuss it here so we the students who are building our interests in fisheries could use it as part of our study. Oh,, one thing, Does NORMA or whatever the new office is called has a website?
  • In 1997, 94.7% FSM exported total fishery production, wow! that is a hell of massive exports!
  • I don't know what NORMA is, but here is the link to the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission website:
  • Sarem,

    Thanks alot.... Will consult the website sometimes during my free hours.
  • 4 billions, divide that into 8 shares wich i belive will be calculated by the area of the EEZ each nations have??.. say FSM being the largest area of the EEZ say. 100-150 millions annually?..thats a lots of money for developement, dont you think?..

    BTW, a meeting will be taking palce in Palau next month for the heads of the states involved.. this will be the first of its kind initiated by the President of Palau...cheers, PNA!
  • And the best part is, those millions coming into your economy is consistance, even if there is no fishing vessels in your water and on top of that there is no sweet hearts deals on the side to steal your most valuable resources like your getting!.. the best part is, our Tuna resources will be there for our generation top come because of this sound management program..
  • reefwalker,

    I came across one of your posts asking about your classmates. Let me know if you are still interested.
  • Reefwalker:

    I think you may be misreading the information in here. While the Western Pacific fishery has a market value of +/- $4 billion, that does not mean the entire $4 billion, or even a large part of it, will be available to the eight nations.

    Even assuming that the eight nations could negotiate licensing fees of 20%, a figure probably too high by at least 10%, that would mean that there would be $800 million available for division. Assuming the figures mentioned by many sources, fishing license fees are more probably in the 5% of market value region. Assuming 5%, there would only be $200 million available for division between the eight nations.

    That said, if the FSM share of fishing license fees could be increased from +/- $20 million to $40 million, annually, and if the FSM Congress could be convinced to spend that additional money on health care and education, rather than on "special projects" for their friends, and trips to Hawai'i, then great strides could be made in both of the most critical areas of future FSM development. Imagine if even $2 million additional per year could be made available for college and post-graduate scholarships, and another $8 million or so for medicine, and health care workers in the four states.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Tuna commission was a Pilot, This is the real deal!.. thanks to the hard wroks of the PNA. Finally, The Tuna resource is returning to the control of these nations, afterall its their's, and theirs to manage, conserved, and be prosper off..

    Sarmen Chuuk,

    My numbers are nothing but a brief example of how the new progam will effect these 8 nations economies along with
    the fact that this is how it supposed to be in the first place.. Finally a setup that will benifits these small islands nations
    without prejudices.. Imagine your own "secuirted business" where your customers is the entire world, and you get to thell them how and when to shop?. :)

    tamor, yes I'm still interested please provide contacts?.. Thanks !

Sign In or Register to comment.