Calls to resolve tuna dispute - Solomon Star News

Calls to resolve tuna dispute

17 January 2016

AS Pacific countries and top fishing authorities race against time to try to resolve an impasse with the US tuna fleet, there are growing calls for a more flexible and permanent solution.

The US reneged on a deal worth US68 million, agreed to last year, because some members of the American fleet say they can no longer pay the fees after a sharp drop in the price of skipjack tuna.

As a result, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency has refused to issue vessel licences for 2016 and is attempting to negotiate a solution.

But it's left many small Pacific Island nations with big holes in their budgets, as they heavily rely on the money from offshore fishing.

Under the current arrangements, the U-S fleet, with 37 vessels, negotiates and buys fishing days collectively from 17 different Pacific Islands.

But Brian Hallman, the CEO of the American Tunaboats Association says that makes it a complex system that needs to be fixed.