HUGE JUMP IN PURSE SEINERS GENERATES BIG MONEY FOR MARSHALL ISLANDS

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (January 28, 2000 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The number of Asian and other purse seiners using Majuro as a transshipment center more than doubled in 1999 compared to the previous year.

A total of 266 purse seiners visited Majuro to transship tuna during the last fiscal year (October 1998 through September 1999), according to the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority.

That generated approximately $5 million in direct revenues to the government, said MIMRA director Danny Wase.

But while this revenue was generated from a combination of license fees, transshipment payments and five percent of the landed catch value of fish caught in RMI waters, the "real money" is in the money these boats spend for reprovisioning and refueling as well as use of hotels, restaurants, bars and related businesses, he said.

Taiwan seiners made up the bulk of the boats visiting – 172 (or 65 percent).

South Korean vessels accounted for 85 visits, while Federated States of Micronesia vessels visited five times and U.S. purse seiners four times.

The average amount of tuna transshipped per vessel was 800 tons, according to MIMRA.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: journal@ntamar.com  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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