4 Feb 2016

Warning from Kiribati MP over lost US fishing deal

4:07 pm on 4 February 2016

A former government minister in Kiribati says the region has to fully assess the impact of the US pulling out of the multi million dollar deal it reached last year with the Forum Fisheries Agency.

The US reneged on the deal late last month, giving 12 months notice of its intention to pull out of the agreement, which had given the US fishing access to the island country's exclusive economic zones.

It had committed to pay the Forum members US$89 million dollars annually but failed to make the first quarterly payment.

Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Photo: Supplied/ aes256 CC BY 2.1 jp

Taberannang Timeon said the US deal was always below the world price and he hopes the US fishing industry will reconsider and return to negotiations.

He said the Kiribati approach has always been to deal with partners who respect its point of view.

The FFA has said smaller Pacific nations could suffer without the US payment.

Mr Timeon has recently thrown his hat in the ring for the Kiribati presidency.