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EU Parliament Gives Blessing To Tuna Fishing Deal With Kiribati

The European Parliament has given its consent to the new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Kiribati after gathering in plenary session in Strasbourg. The new Protocol provides Pacific Ocean fishing opportunities for EU tuna vessels.

The European Commission emphasized that the agreement would be consistent with the EU’s policy to promote sustainability and that the Protocol will help develop Kiribati’s local economy and promote the sustainable long term development of its fisheries sector.

Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed the vote and said: “The agreement with Kiribati reconfirms our commitment to sustainability in our international agreements and is fully consistent with the principles of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy. The agreement ensures the EU fleet’s presence in the Pacific Ocean and enhances the EU’s position in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, while helping to foster co-operation in the Pacific region.”

The new protocol will be in place for three years (until September 2015). Based on information from the European Union, Euro 1,325,000 has been earmarked for the Republic of Kiribati annually which will result in the allowance of four EU purse seiners and six longliners to fish for tuna in its waters. This will mean the EU will pay EUR 88.33/ USD 119.37 per ton of tuna it catches, with its quota set at 15,000 tons. Currently a ton of skipjack sells close to Usd 1700 / EUR 1,275 per M/T CFR Bangkok. Based on an average catch of 32 M/t per fishing day – the amount would come to USD 3,819.84 per fishing day. Within the PNA – of which Kiribati is one out of the eight member countries – tuna fishing days as part of the VDS (vessel day scheme) are now sold by most countries between USD 5,000 and USD 6000 per day.

The fishing opportunities for the EU fleet under the new protocol will benefit ship-owners coming from Spain, France and Portugal.