3 Dec 2015

Guam hopes Hawaii fish deal will bring bright future

4:04 pm on 3 December 2015

The head of the Guam Fishermen's Co-op says selling half of the island's bigeye tuna catch quota to Hawaii will benefit them in the long-term.

Manny Duenas says Guam currently catches about 50 tonnes of fish a year, well below the 2,000 tonne limit imposed on the American territories.

A longliner fishing vessel.

A longliner fishing vessel. Photo: 123RF

Mr Duenas says to avoid losing that quota Guam would rather allow Hawaii to use 1,000 tonne of it and receive about 200,000 US dollars in return.

"In the future as our fisheries develop we don't want the tuna commission to decide that Guam you have zero catch rates so therefore you are not allowed to catch Bigeye. It doesn't allow mobility for us or upward growth depending on how long it takes for us to develop a small-scale fishery."

Hardly any bigeye is caught by Guam because of the lack of appropriate boats and equipment.

Manny Duenas says it's hoped that the income will be used to improve skills in the Guam fishing fleet.

He says the rest of the quota is being set aside for conservation reasons.