24 Jan 2012

Tuna treaty parties looking for more from US

3:27 pm on 24 January 2012

Pacific Island countries will be looking for further concessions from the United States as negotiations to renew the South Pacific Tuna Treaty continue.

Provisions under the treaty guarantee each year hundreds of thousands of US dollars to member governments.

But our Marshall Islands correspondent Giff Johnson says bigger countries, like Papua New Guinea, who control the bulk of the tuna, are looking for more US investment in fisheries and want to get involved in the business side.

He says the US will be feeling under pressure since PNG threatened to withdraw from the treaty.

"If Papua New Guinea sticks to this and US doesn't come to the table on increasing payments and dealing with the issues from the islands, that will kill the treaty, because Papua New Guinea is one of the countries that is an essential element of the treaty."

Giff Johnson.

The US has already agreed to a big hike in access fees.