Tokelau Hit Hard By US Default On Tuna Treaty

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Estimated 90% of local revenue comes from fishing licenses

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 12, 2016) – The government of Tokelau is still reeling from the huge loss in revenue it is facing after the US tuna fleets defaulted on their fishing agreement with the region.

The Tokelau Fisheries director Mika Perez says his ministry is still crunching the numbers but he says 90 percent of locally-earned government revenue has come from offshore fishing over the past two years.

Mr Perez says plans are being made to pool Tokelau's surplus fishing days with other small island nations affected by the US withdrawal.

"And they will sell their days to fishing nations and fishing boats. That way Tokelau is still making some revenue although not as much as the what the US is supposed to be paying."

This month, the United States reneged on its treaty with the Forum Fisheries Agency, which declined to issue licences after the US tuna fleet failed to pay its quarterly US$17 million fee.

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