The WTO offers a wealth of information on fisheries issues. The WTO's Secretariat Report on PNG's Trade Policy is an illustration of it.
The Report, dated 12 October 2010 with WTO reference WT/TPR/S/239, includes under Chapter IV "TRADE POLICIES BY SECTOR" a section on "AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND FISHERIES".
On Fisheries I noticed that there were a number of paragraphs describing fisheries agreements that PNG maintains with third countries.
"50. Most tuna is caught by licensed DWFN purse seiners paying access licence fees to catch fish for overseas processing. Access agreements are in place with
China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, the Philippines, and . Negotiated annually, they establish allowed vessel numbers and the access fees, which are set under the plan at 6% of the catch's f.o.b. value. Total access fees average some K 50 million annually. There are currently 140 licensed vessels. DWFN vessels must meet certain mandatory port requirements. PNG bans transhipment at sea and requires the use of designated ports for transhipment and inspection." South Korea
So, PNG has fisheries agreements with a number of its "neighbours" in the region:
China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, the Philippines, and . South Korea
But there is one more fisheries agreement with a Distant Water Nation, namely the
"54. U.S. purse seine vessels also fish in PNG's EEZ under a multilateral treaty administered by the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), extended for ten years in 2003 (Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States)27. While the
U.S.fleet has declined substantially to well below the cap of 40 vessels, fishing has increased significantly since 2009 because Taiwanese boats that traditionally fished in PNG waters re-flagged to fly the flag. The Plan set the TAC for tuna under the U.S. Treaty and the FSM Arrangement (see below) at 20,000 tonnes. However, in practice it seems that U.S. vessels are not subject to TAC limits or any conservation and management practices, but are monitored by the NFA under the VDS. As a member of the Palau Arrangement for Management of the Western Pacific Purse Seine Fishery, PNG is committed to reducing the number of DWFN vessels annually by 10%, and to give priority to Palau Arrangement members in granting fishing licences. The NFA is updating the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) registry of tuna fishing vessels (both domestic and LBFVs) operating in PNG's EEZ to effectively track them using the VDS. This complies with the latest European regulation, effective in 2011, aimed at improving traceability of all fishery products traded with the EU. However, the authorities are concerned that the stringent EU requirements of the IUU Regulation will impose compliance difficulties for PNG-located vessels, many of which are foreign, thereby threatening its European exports. They indicated that such exports are already beginning to be affected, and that PNG needs substantial technical assistance to enhance compliance possibilities as well as to administer such arrangements effectively." U.S.
27 Originally a total of 50 vessels could operate in the EEZs of participating Pacific island nations. Total fees paid by the
U.S.to the FFA are US$21 million, of which US$3 million is from the tuna industry. Of this, 15% is divided equally among FFA members, and the rest distributed pro rata based on tuna weight landed in each EEZ. The U.S. Government pays the other US$18 million to the FFA as aid. U.S.
What I found intriguing in this paragraph is the sentence:
U.S.fleet has declined substantially to well below the cap of 40 vessels, fishing has increased significantly since 2009 because Taiwanese boats that traditionally fished in PNG waters re-flagged to fly the flag" U.S.
Did this transfer of vessels from Chinese Tapei to the
include subsidised vessels? Or where subsidies provided by Chinese Taipei to its vessel owners to sell this vessels to the U.S. ? U.S.
Another piece of information that I found interesting is the discrimination, as far as the price of fishing licences is concerned, between local and foreign fleets fishing when accessing the same fishing grounds and fishing for the same species.
I will discuss this in another post.