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Solomon Expects To Get More Dollars From Tuna Fishing In 2009

The Ministry of Fisheries hopes to collect $100 million in government revenue for the first time this year.

Fisheries Minister Nollen Leni said in Parliament that this would be the highest collection his ministry hopes to collect over the past 30 years.

He said last year, the ministry collected more than $93-million.

Mr. Leni said the ministry collected last year's revenue through multi-lateral treaty which account for 85 percent and 15 percent from the country's domestic commercial tuna fishing industry.

He said last year’s favorable fishing and international tuna price conditions had generated the increased revenue.

Mr. Leni said the Ministry could have raised more than $100 million this year but the prevailing La Nino condition and the reduction in world tuna prices had made it impossible to collect more than $100-million in the tuna industry.

He said the tuna industry is expected to raise more than $4-million in government revenue.

Mr. Leni also informed Parliament that Solomon Islands had more than enough tuna stocks within its Exclusive Economic Zone.

He said the recent EU funded regional tuna tagging program here had estimated a total allowable catch of 120,000 tons which the country had never exceeded over the past years.

Mr. Leni said that because of this, Solomon Islands’ prospects in earning more revenue from tuna resource is available, given good policies are in place.