Tuna problem out of Fiji govt control

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday December 17th, 2013

 THE president of the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association (FTBOA) said he cannot see a solution to problems in tuna industry in the next five years.

Graham Southwick said the only long-term solution was that the region needed to work together to place their concerns on the agenda of international tuna meetings.

“Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, they’ve all have got to get together and learn to cooperate and try and take care of this problem. 

“And this can only be taken care of at the regional level. Fiji is doing what it can but internally we can only control 10% or 30% of the problem but bulk of the problem is a regional problem.

“But that’s a long term thing, could be 10 of 50 years of negotiation and action before we see any results.”

Southwick said Fiji’s FJ$300million (K384 million) tuna industry was gasping for breath.

The FTBOA had sought assistance from the government on alternative fisheries.

The association claimed state-subsidised foreign vessels flood the international market with tuna supplies thus their increasing existence in the Pacific waters, had made it hard for local players to compete for the same tuna stock.

“Fiji has to do what they can to mitigate the problem. 

“The immediate problem is that the fishing boats are losing money heavily and they will not be able to sustain another month at this kind of losses so they just have to do what they can internally and that’s what we have been talking about.”

A three-member government sub-committee headed by the minister for fisheries have been appointed to looking to the problems of the tuna industry. – – FBC News