11 Mar 2020

Tokelau urged to prepare for fisheries revenue drop

1:00 pm on 11 March 2020

New Zealand's administrator to Tokelau has urged local leaders to be prepared for a drop in fisheries revenues.

Tokelau Administrator, Ross Ardern, in Apia, Samoa.

Tokelau Administrator, Ross Ardern, in Apia, Samoa. Photo: RNZ PACIFIC / MACKENZIE SMITH

Ross Ardern addressed Tokelau's General Fono, or elected council, which is sitting in Fakaofo this week.

Covid-19 border restrictions meant that Mr Ardern could not attend in person - instead he gave his official address by video link.

Mr Ardern said international tuna prices were likely to fluctuate and Tokelau should be mindful of that in its planning.

From the sale of access to fishing in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Tokelau earned about $US14 million in 2019.

Last August, the Tokelau Fisheries Advisor projected revenue in 2020 of between $US11m and $US12.4m, he said.

"It's important to understand that international tuna prices will fluctuate, and most importantly Tokelau needs to be in a position to manage that risk.

"So, based on current projections, it would be prudent to budget for the 2020 fisheries revenue of $US11 million."

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