4 Mar 2014

PNA countries in Solomons this week to agree on vessel days for US

3:04 pm on 4 March 2014

The member countries of the Nauru Agreement are in Solomon Islands this week to decide how to handle funding for their fisheries.

Last year's negotiations with the United States and its tuna industry brought $93 million US dollars to distribute amongst them.

The eight nations - Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu - have in recent years successfully negotiated limits on fleets fishing in their exclusive economic zones, with the "vessel day scheme" meaning they have tripled their revenue.

But in turn for the funding, the countries need to provide the US with 8,000 fishing days between them, despite the limits.

The chief executive of the PNA, Dr Transform Aqorau, says this week's meetings are aimed at coming up with an internal agreement.

He says another boon to the Pacific industry is that last year it began successfully marketing internationally-certified sustainably-caught skipjack in Europe, generating a premium price for the tuna.