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Small Increase In PNA Fees For Foreign Tuna Fleets Palau, March 5, 13

Dr. Christian Ramofafia, the new PNA Chair said that officials, during the 32nd Annual Meeting of the PNA in Palau, decided to increase the current VDS minimum fee for fishing vessels from USD 5,500 to USD 6,000 per day to fish in their waters. The new fee will be implemented by 2014.
The USD 6,000 minimum benchmark mentioned in the papers signed by the ministers is considerably lower than one of the highest tabled proposals which was USD 8,500 per day. Reasoning for the increase in VDS benchmark was that profits by tuna purse seiners over 2012 had increased considerably and that PNA nations as resource owners should get a bigger share of these profits. The increase of USD 500 per fishing day could bring the PNA nations an additional joint income of almost USD 23 million.
Officials who attended the meeting said that a research report was presented showing that one super seiner (over 2000 GRT) could generate in one year around USD 10 million in net profits. A few super seiners of Spanish and American flag are active in PNA waters. It is expected that the 10% increase will not have any significant effect on the profitability of tuna fishing companies. Despite the indicated sharp rise in industry profits, some PNA member countries had expressed fear that an increase of more than 10% would effect profitability of fleets within their waters. One nation was said to have disqualified the presented profitability numbers as: “assumptions“.

An increase to the higher proposed USD 8,500 benchmark would have meant an additional USD 135 Million to the 8 PNA countries, but would likely have a more direct impact on industry profits, and also world tuna market prices.