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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (March 22, 2002 – Marshall Islands Journal)---Marshall Islands fisheries revenues rebounded slightly last year after a major drop in 1999/2000.

A newly released annual report from the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) shows that revenues from fisheries licenses, transshipment fees and catch value payments peaked at $5 million during 1998/1999.

It dropped to slightly below $3 million two years ago, but rebounded in 2000/2001 to $3,485,000.

MIMRA says that El Niño weather conditions in the late 1990s were a major factor in the higher-than-normal revenue that was generated three years ago.

Although tuna prices on the world market have recovered significantly, early last year they were so low that fishing companies kept their boats in port, hurting the RMI’s transshipment operation.

Still, the number of transshipment visits by fishing vessels and carrier ("mother") ships increased dramatically in 2001 to 374 and that produced $221,000 in revenue.

This was an increase over the previous year’s 260 visits and $153,600 in revenue, MIMRA reported.

The report also shows that of the 150 purse seiners licensed to fish in the RMI during 2000/2001, Taiwan accounted for the most vessels with 43.

Japan was the only country with purse seiners, pole and line and long line vessels registered to fish – a total of 131 vessels in all three categories.

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

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