30 Aug 2012

US overstates benefits for Pacific from fishing deal - PNA

3:01 pm on 30 August 2012

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement say the United States is making its proposed fishing deal with Pacific Island countries appear more valuable than it actually is.

The director, Dr Transform Aqorau, says while it's been agreed in principle that the US will pay 63 million US dollars for 8000 fishing days, this is to be reviewed every two years, not 10 as has been reported.

Annell Husband has more:

"Dr Aqorau says for the PNA, that amount falls well short of expectation and does not take into account market prices and changes that might occur. Dr Aqorau says the US fishing industry will pay 42 million US dollars for 8000 fishing days, which is only five percent and not 50 percent above the bilateral minimum bench mark as reported. He also says the claim that the US will also pay a 17 percent return on the value of the fish caught is wrong. Dr Aqorau says it works out to be less than eight percent, under the 10 percent average rate Pacific Islands leaders want. However Dr. Aqorau says the fact that US vessels will be constrained by the Vessel Day Scheme is an improvement from the current US treaty where the US is entitled to have 40 boats fish as many days as they like. The US will meet with Pacific Islands leaders in Vanuatu next week to discuss the terms of a new treaty."