Top fisheries officials from PNA member countries are in Honiara this week to reach agreement on two key issues – including a new platform for the Vessel Day Scheme.
The officials are here for the thirty-third Annual Parties to the Nauru Agreement Officials Meeting, which ends today.
Head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Dr Transform Aqorau told SIBC News, PNA is hoping for a new strengthened Vessel Day Scheme and a new strengthened corporatization of the office that would allow countries to maximize the revenue they receive.
He said PNA countries need to move away from negotiating with fishing companies and bilateral agreements, if they want to get better economic outcomes.
“If we want to get better economic outcomes we need to move away from negotiating with fishing companies and bilateral agreements because the outcome of these negotiations are often resulting in compromise, and you usually comprise at the lowest common denominator, and we’ve created this seller’s market. The easiest example we can use is betel nut, when the supply of betel nut is low its price goes up, and that’s what we PNA control.”
The PNA Director adds there are business opportunities for a sellers market, and the framework is being established so changes may be seen in the next five years.
Dr Transform also said PNA leaders must work together to create this sellers market and the scarcity of fish to keep the prices economically viable for PNA countries.
“These eight governments need to work and cooperate together in order for us to create that seller’s market and create a bit more scarcity so that the price of the fish, we can keep it not too high but high enough so that we can have a few more processing plants here to be economically viable. And so the opportunities I see is that if we set this new platform then it allows countries to move away from bilateral access agreements and move into things like auction, tender, pooling and business things,” adds Dr Aqorau.