Papua New Guinea’s National Fisheries Authority says it is important the world knows ‘where the best-managed tuna fishery is found and where most of the world tuna catch …are caught.’
NFA Managing Director Sylvestor Pokajam has told the Pacific Tuna Forum in Palau that he is concerned about the lack of recognition Pacific Island nations receive. ‘Many people think that tuna are caught from Thailand or elsewhere in Europe or the U.S. just because the label on the canned tuna shows that these are the countries where the canned tuna are made,’ Pokajam says.
More than 200 delegates are attending this week’s meeting in Koror.
Over 50% of the world’s tuna supply comes from the waters of Pacific Island nations such as Palau, PNG, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Kiribati.
Meanwhile Palau’s Vice President and Finance Minister Kerai Mariur says Pacific island countries collectively earn around US$ 100 million as a resource rent and access fees from fishing fleets that operate within their respective zones.
‘That is almost five percent of the value of the catch. The time for only managing tuna for others to catch is slowly coming to an end,” Mariur says.
The Pacific Tuna Forum is discussing tuna stock levels and resources in the region; investment opportunities, new resource management measures and their impact on the industry; tuna industry status and prospects in the Pacific countries; trends and outlook in major markets; international trade and trade barriers; new technology; eco-labelling; and prospects for the future.