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VDS has worked for us, says PNA

EXECUTIVE Director of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Dr Transform Aqorau believes the group’s Vessel Day Scheme has been an effective tool in increasing it members’ share of the value of their tuna resource.

He said in the last five years, revenue of PNA members have increased from around US$60million in 2010 to an estimated US$350million this year. This is the largest tradable natural asset in the region.

Speaking at last month’s Pacific Tuna Forum in Nadi, Dr Aqorau said a review of the VDS he initiated in 2014 showed that fishing days sold under VDS could still be raised to between US$12,000 to $17,000 per day, and total annual fees to increase from between $370million to $1.150billion.

“The study cautioned, however, that it was highly likely that the total fee maximising policy will further reduce the biomass of bigeye tuna unless fishing methods (especially the use of FADS) are altered.

” The same study,” he said “also proposed that instead of using fishing effort, the VDS could be a more effective tuna management tool if it is quota or harvest based.”

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