Tuna brands largely failing to combat slavery in Pacific

The canned tuna industry is rife with allegations of modern slavery in its Pacific supply chains, with little protection for workers from forced labour.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre report surveyed dozens of the world's largest canned tuna brands.

While more than four in five of them have public commitments on workers' human rights, this doesn't translate into efforts to end slavery in their supply chains.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also heightened the risk for workers of experiencing modern slavery.

Tuna tagging expedition to gauge Pacific fishery's health

The seven week research mission monitors the health of the largest tuna fishery in the world, which is vital to the economic well-being of the Pacific.

SPC principal fisheries scientist Simon Nicol said the expedition would gauge whether various tuna species were being fished sustainably.

Its findings will be added to data collected over 15 years of tagging surveys, Dr Nicol said.

Tuna Commission told to focus on enforcing its high seas fishing rules

The CEO of one of the region’s most important Pacific fisheries blocs – the Parties to the Nauru Agreement – issued a stern call to members of the Western Central and Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to end uncontrolled fishing on the high seas.

The WCPFC brings the Pacific resource owners together with global fishing powers to set rules in the world’s biggest fishery.

PNA members confirm: Vessel Day Scheme is here to stay

Despite criticism by countries outside of this western and central Pacific fishery of a management system used to regulate the tuna industry, fisheries officials from the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) agreed at their annual meeting in Kiribati last week to recommend to their fisheries ministers that the system be maintained.

This decision followed review at the annual meeting of an independent study of the PNA’s Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), which manages a multi-tuna fishery by controlling fishing effort.


US tuna fleet shut out of lucrative Pacific region

The US Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has told all US vessels they are prohibited from fishing in the region from January 1 until new licences are issued.

Nearly 40 US vessels usually work in the region and are estimated to catch US$300-$400 million worth of tuna annually.

Mike Tosatto, Honolulu director of the NMFS confirmed Friday he had written to tuna fleet operators to get out of the water by New Year's Day if the agreement to pay was not honoured.

Pacific tuna fishery well placed for 2016

Transform Aqorau says the highlight of the meeting was coming away with agreement on target reference points which is a tuna management strategy that incorporates biological, ecological, social, and economic considerations.

But Dr Aqorau says the meeting was not without its disappointments and hit back at critics who say the PNA is making the Pacific fishery too expensive for some boats to operate in.

US can't pay tuna deal signed with PNA

Under the Parties to the Nauru Agreement's Vessel Day Scheme, the US fleet was given 5,700 fishing days, but now it's asking the PNA to reduce that to just 2,000 days.

The pay-by-day scheme has quadrupled PNA nations' incomes, but has allowed catch rates to hit new highs, which has seen the market price for tuna drop to half of what it was in 2013.

An official with the US State Department, Michael Drake, says the situation isn't ideal for either side, but the falling price has made current fishing arrangements unaffordable.

Pacific tuna – money earner or crime threat?

In that expanse of ocean much goes on unseen by naval patrols, satellites and aircraft.

Most of that activity is illegal fisheries. According to a 2008 study, as much 11 to 26 million tonnes of fish valued at $USD23billion is lost to illegal operators.

When Indonesian Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti warned the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting here of the threat of illegal fishing, she called it a trans-national crime.

Tuna quota management reality check

Pacific Islands Forum leaders have called for a review of tuna fisheries management in the region with suggestions of a move away from the Vessel Day Scheme to a New Zealand-led quota system.

But FFA fisheries advisor Francisco Blaha who was one of hundreds of industry delegates gathered this week in Fiji for the 5th Pacific Tuna Forum says the Pacific tuna fishery may be too complex for it to work.

Tuna stakeholders looking for balance in the Pacific

Stakeholders from all over the world are in Fiji this week to talk about the challenges facing the Pacific Tuna Industry.

The Chief Executive of the Pacific Tuna Industry Association, Tima Tepou says having all stakeholders at the same table has resulted in frank discussions on what different parties want for the future of the industry.