8 Dec 2016

US fleets sign up to South Pacific Tuna Treaty

8:59 am on 8 December 2016

The US purse seiner fleets can choose the number of fishing days to purchase under the newly signed six-year Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries, in which the US fleets pays $US12,500 per fishing day, according to American Tunaboat Association executive director Brian Hallman.

The Treaty document, also known as the South Pacific Tuna Treaty, was signed between the US government and 16 Pacific island nations last week in Nadi, Fiji and valid through 2022.

The new Treaty, administered by the Pacific Islands Fishery Forum Agency on behalf of Pacific governments, was agreed to in "principle" during another round of negotiations in June this year in Auckland, New Zealand.

Mr Hallman said the American Tunaboat Association ATA, which represents the US fleets in Treaty negotiations, is glad that the Treaty negotiations were finally successfully concluded, after seven years of difficult and complicated negotiations.

He said changes in the new Treaty that the US fleets likes the best are the fact that there is stability now for four years in terms of fishing days and the cost of those days, and vessels can choose the number of days they wish to buy.

American Samoa's canneries depends on the US fleets fishing in waters of nations under the Tuna Treaty, because of the close proximity to the territory for off loading.