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Papua New Guinea is ranked first in tuna catches totaling 379,317 metric tonnes in 2017 compared from the four major tuna supply pacific countries per their respective Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZ).
Yet the fact of that matter is not captured when it comes to global discussions on the tuna fishery and industry, says PNG Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Patrick Basa.
Minister Basa revealed this when addressing the 15th Infofish World Trade Tuna Conference in Bangkok early this month.
Minister Basa said according to available data from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission the four Pacific Islands countries with large volumes of tuna catches within their respective EEZ’s in 2017 are PNG with 379,317 metric tonnes, Kiribati with 226,742 metric tonnes, Federated States of Micronesia with 168,810 metric tonnes and Solomon Islands with 149,614 metric tonnes.
Basa said it is a common practice at tuna trade conferences to address tuna production and markets and he aims to highlight the major tuna exporters and importers of canned or processed tuna products.
“In 2017, the top six major exporters were Thailand with 485,500 metric tonnes, Ecuador with 218,100 metric tonnes, Spain with 101,600 metric tonnes, and China with 91,100 metric tonnes, Philippines with 79,500 metric tonnes and Indonesia with 76,700 metric tonnes.
The notable changes in volume from 2016 to 2017 shows exports from Philippines increasing by 24 per cent and Ecuador by 20.7 per cent,” Basa said.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea as a member of Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) adheres to management measures developed and agreed by members including limiting purse seine fishing efforts within our Exclusive Economic Zone.
This is as well in line with the number of vessel days allocated to us as a country.
Basa remarked adding that PNG through the National Fisheries Authority tenders fishing days to purse seine vessels who fish within PNG waters.
One of the landmark decisions of the PNA was the introduction of the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) in 2008 which shifted PNA’s approach of managing purse seine fishing from fishing capacity to that of fishing effort.
The VDS is also adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission of which PNG comes under as a Commission Management Measure.
The VDS have enabled the PNA countries to managed fishing efforts within their respective EEZs whilst at the same time increasing the value of fishing within their waters and ensuring more transparency in catch and effort data.
In 2018, the PNA had a total of 44,000 days divided among the member countries with a vessel day selling for up to US$12,500 per day.
Minister Basa said but prior to 2018 PNG gives discounts to PNG flagged vessels as well as Locally Based Foreign vessels which are associated with onshore tuna processing.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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