17 Oct 2014

Kiribati action over US fish deal shows shifting dynamics - PNA

2:01 pm on 17 October 2014

The chief executive of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement says he is not surprised by Kiribati's decision to make fewer days available in a revamped Pacific fisheries deal in the United States.

The members of the Forum Fisheries Agency sealed a record breaking 90 million US dollar agreement with the American tuna fleet earlier this month.

The deal involves commitments on fishing days but Kiribati, which has a key part of the tuna fishery, has made only 300 days available for the American deal.

The move has reportedly caused surprise in the tuna fishing community but Dr Transform Aqorau's view is that Kiribati's actions simply shows the shifting dynamics of the industry.

"Now they have more options. Because they are in a much more powerful position, the Purse Seine Vessel Day Scheme has significantly transformed the power play in, in this fishery. Whereas before it was the fishing vessels and all that who've been dictating the fishery. Now they are in control of it."