Tuna Market Intelligence No. 56

MARKET UPDATE
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Skipjack prices in Bangkok hover around $1,950 per metric ton.
The pushes for fishing closures in both the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean along with fish aggregating device (FAD) annual closures are creating uncertainty of supply that will keep tuna prices high, with $2,000/mt reported in all other regions.

INFLUENCERS REPORT

FFA moves forward
Protecting the Pacific Ocean’s fish stock was a recurrent theme during the Fourteenth Annual Session of Pacific Fisheries Ministers, held in Mooloolaba, Australia, July 5- 6, 2017.

Sustainability and profitability were noted as urgent priorities. The ministers confirmed belief and commitment in the development of zone based management, whereas each party operates within its own system of national rights, within a cooperative framework of binding limits, working toward continued sustainability and profitability of their fisheries. The ministers also endorsed the priority of ongoing development of harvest rule strategies.

Another highlight of the meeting was the acknowledgement and welcoming of Australia’s ratification of the Niue Treaty (NTSA), which enhances members’ abilities to use surveillance, to monitor and control vessels fishing in their waters. The ministers also noted the Marshall Islands recently ratified the treaty, bringing the number of parties who have ratified the NTSA to ten.

Intercessional Meeting to Progress the draft bridging CMM (Conservation Management Measures) on Tropical Tuna
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) will host a meeting, Intercessional Meeting to Progress the draft bridging CMM on Tropical Tuna, August 19-22 in Honolulu. Up until now there has not been agreement among fishing nations on how to manage and protect big eye tuna. The chair for the upcoming meeting, Rhea Moss Christian, has made suggestions, which the WCPFC hope will help bring the countries together in joint resolution of the issue. The purpose of the meeting is to bring Moss-Christian’s suggestions to the table for discussion and hopefully for agreements to be reached.

The Strategic Partnership: Way forward in VDS and iFIMS in managing our fisheries and our business in PNA
Parties to the Nauru Agreement Office (PNAO) partnered with Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority and Information Management System service provider (QAC), running a training and information workshop on Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) and iFIMS (Integrated Fisheries Information Management System) in Manila on 19-21st July 2017.

The workshop, titled, ‘The Strategic Partnership: Way forward in VDS and iFIMS in managing our fisheries and our business in PNA’ was attended by industry representatives from agencies from many nations to discuss and learn about intentions and procedures along with challenges faced in the implementing of the VDS on the iFIMs.

PNG NFA VMS Manager David Karis said the concept to partnership with industry is critically important, that when state agencies and government officials make policy they need to ensure that “our strategic industry partners, who in joint collaborative effort put value to the tuna resources, are more informed of the smart technologies that we are researching into and incorporating into our work, so they too see and appreciate the cost effectiveness and efficiency that such systems like the iFIMS serves us, both the regulators (VMS & VDS administrators) and the industries too. The more sustainable our fisheries is and our businesses feasible and cost efficient, we all will continue to gain from the tuna fisheries.”

Papua New Guinea PM declares fisheries a priority
In a news release from the Office of the Prime Minister in Papua New Guinea on July 24th, PM, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, told the nation that fisheries would be high on his priority list. He remarked that, “In the coming years we will see that our fish stocks are better managed and that more revenue from this sector remains in our country. Foreign fleets and foreign workers should not be catching and processing our fish, this must be done by Papua New Guineans. Our capacity in this sector continues to grow, and through even greater Government support and better targeted regulation, more of our people will work in the fisheries industry.”

Palau entrepreneurs learn “micro-canning” skills
Twelve students in Palau learned skills through lectures and practical workshops at a Thermal Processing Training in early July that will enable them to safely can their fish, seafood, and other local products.

Foodstream, an Australian food training and handling organization, with support from the PNA/Pacifical MSC programme, delivered a five-day workshop that included food safety, processing, packaging and regulations relevant to thermal processing. At the end of the instruction students were given a practical exam and two written exams; 5 of the 12 students achieved a Retort Supervisor’s Certificate, the remaining attendees scored well enough to earn a Retort Assistant’s Certificate.

This is the third Pacifical/PNA workshop held for PNA nationals interested in establishing low cost micro-canning enterprises. This training will enable local entrepreneurs to process and market their fish and other local products in shelf-stable cans. Two similar workshops have been hosted; the first in the Marshall Islands in October 2016, the second in the Solomon Islands in February 2017. There are now several small-scale canneries in operation in the region.

Pacifical announces internship opportunity
Pacifical is offering a unique opportunity to an enthusiastic person to join the Pacifical Sales & Market Development Department as an intern for 3 months and work within a small team to share creative ideas in achieving Pacifical’s goals. The first intern is proposed to be from RMI to start off this program and then the scheme would be expanded PNA wide, offering a series of 3 month internships in future.

The selected candidate will be European based and understudying the Pacifical sales, market development and marketing team members in all stages of Pacifical’s campaigns to develop, expand and maintain Pacifical global market channels and supply chains for PNA caught MSC certified free-school tuna .

The Pacifical intern will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire valuable hands-on knowledge and marketing and commercial business skills & strategies required to become successful in any fast paced international work environment.

For more information about the opportunity, including details about the requirements and the application process, please go to www.pacifical.com.

FADs violate MARPOL V
PNAO presented at the Regional workshop on MARPOL (Marine Pollution) Annex V and Port Reception facilities held in the Marshall Islands, July 17-19, hosted by IMO, SPREP, and RMI.

The focus of PNAO’s presentation was to address the question: Are the deployment of fish aggregating devices (FADs) a violation of MARPOL (marine pollution) V rules?

The MARPOL Convention was developed by the International Maritime Organization with aim to minimize the amount of all ships’ garbage being discharged into the ocean. 154 countries, the equivalent of 98.7% of the world’s shipping tonnage, are State parties to the convention.

There are six annexes to MARPOL; Annex V, which addresses garbage, is technically optional, but many parties have signed in agreement with its requirements.

By 2014 it was estimated there were roughly 50,000 fish aggregated devices deployed in PNA waters. If FADs are deployed, and it seems they are, with no intention to recover them due to loss of both time and fuel costs, then these devices are deployed in breach of MARPOL V. They are, in effect, marine garbage, left to drift in currents, become entangled in reefs, trap and kill marine life, and wash ashore on beaches.

During the presentation, PNAO pointed out that current available data being quoted in the meeting for marine debris from fishing vessels, is not the full picture; the majority of the data available to SPC and SPREP is coming from PNA observers on about 260 purse seiners in PNA waters where there is 100% observer coverage. It is worth noting this data represents less than 5% of the actual fishing vessels on the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commissions registry for vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

PNA officials meet with ISSF representative, moving their MoU forward
PNA officials met with an International Seafood Sustainability Foundation representative in Brisbane on July 11th to discuss PNA projects that can be supported by ISSF. The discussion involved moving forward in implementing a memorandum of understanding signed last year between PNAO and ISSF. According to the PNA officials, the meeting was useful with moving the MoU forward but no agreement reached.

PNAO prepares for MRAG observer agency contract renewal
In anticipation of renewing a 5-year contract between The Parties of the Nauru Agreement Office and MRAG for regional observer services in September 2018, the PNA Chair Glen Joseph, CEO Ludwig Kuroru and Legal Consultant and Advisor Dr. Transform Aqorau met with Duncan Souter of MRAG Asia Pacific to informally discuss future arrangements for the PNA Observer Agency. PNAO outsources the management of their regional observer programme to MRAG.

During the meeting Glen Joseph noted that “standards are high and these are what we want to maintain.” It was added that observers have said that the PNA Observer Agency is setting the benchmark for the quality of their service. In addition, Dr. Aqorau remarked that “Ultimately, we want to see PNA trained observers and nationals working on fishing boats in other oceans with the PNA Observer Agency providing the focal point to facilitate this kind of placement.”

Send us your tips to marketintel@pnatuna.com

Tuna Market Intelligence is an independent publication, sponsored by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to unearth industry and market information from Pacific Island reporters and analysts. Reprint in the media from the PNA countries is free. All other reprints must be authorized. Contact us on rebecca@pnatuna.com or see more on www.pnatuna.com

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