Agreement ‘In Principle’ Reached For New U.S.-Pacific Tuna Treaty

FFA release says deal could be worth up to $70 million in 2017

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, June 27, 2016) – Negotiators on the South Pacific Tuna Treaty have reached in “principle” a six -year deal following last week’s meeting in Auckland, New Zealand. The Treaty is between the US and 17 Pacific Island countries, which are represented by the Pacific Islands Fishery Forum Agency (FFA).

An FFA statement released last night quotes FFA deputy director-general Wez Norris saying that the overall Treaty deal could be worth as much as US$70 million for 2017 if the US fleet takes up all its available opportunities.

“By the end of the deal the Treaty will be providing returns of over US$14,000 per fishing day in addition to the economic assistance that each country receives.  At the start of the negotiation, that amount was somewhere in the vicinity of US$2,000 per day,” he said.

The current interim Treaty agreement is only for the year 2016 and the new six-year agreement, which is subject to approval by the governments of the US and Pacific island countries, takes effect in 2017.  (More in tomorrow’s edition.)

Samoa News notes that the Treaty is of utmost important to American Samoa, which depends on the US fleet to supply fish for its two canneries, the backbone  of the territory’s economy.

Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale represented American Samoa at the Auckland negotiations.

The Samoa News
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