31 Dec 2015

US fleets 'jeopardise' the Pacific fishing treaty

5:14 pm on 31 December 2015


A fishing agency that oversees multi-million dollar deals with the United States says the US has jeopardised an important treaty for the region.

US fleets have reneged on a deal to purchase over 6,000 fishing days for 2016, worth over $68 million US dollars.

Despite demanding more fishing days back in August, some US operators want to give back around 2,000 days, throwing Pacific nations' budgets into disarray.

The deputy director general of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Wez Norris, says those days will be harder to sell on, as they are multilateral - meaning they can fish anywhere - and perhaps too expensive for other nations to purchase.

Mr Norris says the move has hurt the hard work done on the US-Pacific fishing treaty.

"So it's really unfortunate that this issue has come about now because it really jeopardises the ability for people to see the positives in the treaty."

Wez Norris says the US risks not being licensed to fish at all, starting from tomorrow - the first day of 2016.

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