Dedicated to all ripped-off PNG sheeple and their longlong Government
Recently, Solomon Islands and Nauru have had to suspended all Tuna fisheries in their waters as they had reached their Fishing days quota. The Vessel Day Scheme or VDS limits the number of fishing days as part of the management of Western Pacific Tuna fisheries under the Partners to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). The aim of the PNA is to create a tuna cartel similar to OPEC, in order for countries of the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) maximize benefits from their tuna resources. [As you will discover below that has not been the case]
Indeed the PNA is one of several fisheries agreements/treaties that Pacific Island nations have.
The Niue Treaty, for example, calls for cooperation amongst parties in fisheries law enforcement and surveillance. The vast Exclusive Economic Zones of many Island Nations make it difficult for individual countries to monitor poachers. However surveillance efforts using combined resources of nations has caught some of these illegal fishing vessels.
The Pacific Island Tuna fisheries are worth US$ 4 billion of which about US$ 1.7 billion is illegal fisheries. What this means is that Pacific Island Nations do not benefit from around half of all Tuna fished from the WCPO. [So the Niue Treaty is a nice Pacific Island joke].
Meantime, the benefits of Tuna Fisheries aren’t evenly spread throughout the PNA countries. Papua New Guinea and Kiribati benefit most compared to other island nations. In 2009 the total value of the Tuna Catch for PNA countries was US $ 1.56 billion. Papua New Guinea’s fishing industry made US$543 million around one-third of the total value of fish caught in PNA waters. [By the way Niue didn’t make any money during that year. The Joke’s on Niue. So much for the Niue Treaty]
However if one looks closely at direct benefits to countries from these fishing activities, they barely scratch the surface. Let’s take PNG as an example. The fishing industry catches on average about US$ 600 million (K2 billion) worth of Tuna annually. The Government collects on average about K40 million each year from fees and levies. Around K60 million benefits the nation through spin-off activities.
Now you do the math. K2 billion kina worth of Tuna gets exported while PNG gets only K100 million or just 5%. What happens to the other 95 % (K1.9 billion)?
This is a rip-off and yet the Government is hard pressed on setting up 10 more tuna canneries at the Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) at Vidar in Madang. I suppose they wanna be rip-off ten times more. [I don’t know what the Government is smoking but I want some of it]
Unless the Government can maximize the direct benefits to its coffers in the current context, there is NO ECONOMIC JUSTIFICATION for the establishment of the PMIZ.