Philippines: seeking to conclude fisheries agreements with Palau and PNG

The termination of the country’s bilateral fishing access with Indonesia that lapsed two years ago has had negative consequences for Philippino companies.

Indeed, the five-year bilateral fishing agreement between the Philippines and Indonesia ended in December 2005, but was extended until the end of 2006. Under that bilateral fishing agreement, Philippine tuna fleets were allowed to "catch tuna and tuna-like species within the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It provided licenses to the Philippines for 75 catcher vessels, 150 fish carriers, 20 long liners, 300 light boats, and 10 single purse seiners, as well as allowed access to the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas of the Indonesian EEZ. The same pact also provided offloading and re-supply access to 10 Indonesian ports.

Government officials and businessmen from the Philippines are now approaching Palau and Papua New Guinea to explore the possibility of concluding fisheries agreements to relocate the fleet that can not longer benefit from the Indonesia agreement.

It is interesting to see that government officials ae involved in the search for a replacement for the Indonesia arrangement. Does this mean that the agreements with Palau and PNG, if any, will be more than granting private licenses to Philippino fishermen?

Here is a link to an official press release (Philippine Information Agency) dated 6 January 2009 on this matter:


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