Feb 27, 2021 Last Updated 4:38 AM, Feb 26, 2021

Fishing boom

Industry sees huge last quarter

DESPITE industry complaints that fishing has been on the wane, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Office reported that effort in PNA waters in the last quarter of 2016 was the highest quarterly achievement in 30 months. Operators used 3586 days in the final quarter of 2016, up from 2014’s last quarter of 3292. Effort is the number of tonnes or number of actual fish caught over a day. Taking a longer view, effort (fishing) has reduced since 2011 when the last quarter days were around 1000 metric tonnes more, standing at 4516.

However, there was no change to the industry practice of the importance of the last quarter, with most days used over the past six years generally occurring in this end-year rush. Meanwhile, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Secretariat reported that Taiwan, China and the US had all notified the WCPFC they had reached 90 per cent of their catch limit for 2016. Under the 2015 Conservation and Management Measure, fishing nations are upposed to update the Commission monthly of their catch...

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GROWING global market demand for MSC-certified tuna and fishing industry interest is expected to see “wild catch” tuna tonnage double from the waters of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement in 2017. The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) operates a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified free school caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery in the western and central Pacific fishing zones of its member nations.

In 2016, tuna fishing fleets complying with strict chain of custody rules that met MSC certification requirements delivered over 55,000 metric tons of sustainably caught free school tuna to market, said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru. “We expect the volume to double to about 100,000 metric tons in 2017 based upon existing orders,” he said. “With strong fishing industry buy-in for PNA’s MSC-certified fishery, we see the market for sustainably caught tuna continuing to grow.

This benefits everyone — the fisheries industry, retailers, and PNA members. Most importantly, catching tuna without using fish aggregating devices (FADs) means tuna are being fished sustainably.”

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Cooks leads the way

Quota system for albacore, bigeye

The Cook Islands has become the first Pacific Island nation to adopt a quota management system (QMS) for its longline fishery to control catches of albacore and bigeye tuna. The Marine Resources (Large Pelagic Longline Fishery and Quota Management System) Regulations 2016 approved by Cabinet and the Executive Council last week, mark a significant step forward in allowing the Cook Islands to commit to a catch limit agreed to among Pacific Island countries through the Tokelau Arrangement for the Management of the South Pacific Longline Fishery and harvest strategy regulations being developed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).  

A fishery based on catch limits under a QMS is a management system that is globally regarded as best practice for commercial fisheries, and is supported by international environmental groups, including WWF. “We have received strong support regionally for taking the lead on transitioning from an effort-based system to a QMS. The focus is to restructure and control the longline fishery to meet our commitment to work with other States to ensure effective conservation and management of albacore and bigeye stocks,” says MMR Secretary Ben Ponia. “We are hoping this system will be adopted throughout the Pacific region. The Cook Islands can now set a precedent as one of the significant longline albacore fisheries in the region, and one of the few with a bigeye fishery,” says Ponia.

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OVER 60 per cent of the enterprises gained investment, new partners or new customers from connections made during the event participating in an event that aims to connect seafood industries with investors. Founded by Monica Jain, the Fish 2.0 is a global business competition that connects seafood businesses with investors, giving entrepreneurs an opportunity to win cash prizes, gain international visibility, find strategic partners and attract new investments.

“I’ve been working in the seafood sector and also in finance for 30 years and I kept meeting investors who said they didn’t know much about ventures in the seafood industry , which is why they weren’t making investments,” said Jain. “Seafood ventures on the other hand said investors aren’t interested in us. So what I learned was that it wasn’t that investors weren’t interested, but that presenters didn’t know how to present themselves properly,” she said.

It was then that Jain realized this business development gap in the market and gave birth to ish 2.0 that connect successful seafood businesses to investors, does education around how to present business pitch to the investors effectively, and how to create business Connecting seafood businesses with investors By Priya Chand strategies that would help businesses attract investors.

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Korea, Kiribati pay for services

PURSE seining revenue has accounted for the majority of fisheries revenue collected by the Cook Islands since 2014. According to Cooks Islands Fisheries Ministry submission to the country’s Purse Seining Special Select Committee, the increase in revenue has been in part directly associated with the vessel day price paid by the US Fisheries Treaty for the Cook Islands pool.

In addition, the Cook Islands has entered into bilateral fishing days with the US industry since 2014, and in 2015 there were large revenues associated with bilateral fishing days sold to the KoreanKiribati fleet. While the Cook Islands does not have the capacity for large-scale economic opportunities, a small tuna processing facility for 1500 tonnes in Rarotonga may be feasible. Penrhyn Harbour may also be utilised as a base for offloading, storing and transhipment of catch.

Local stevedores and labourers may be employed for maintenance of the purse seine net and other work. The ministry believes significant licensing revenues can be derived from the fishery provided government has the institutional capacity for scientific reporting of catches, monitoring and compliance of the fishing vessels, and sound fisheries policies. According to a study of fisheries revenues the access value of foreign fleet licenses in the region increased from $US92 million in 2007 to $US349 million in 2014.

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