A new proposal by Pacific Island Countries that are party to the US Tuna Treaty which governs where US purse seiners that supply the two local canneries fish, is being submitted by the Fisheries Forum Agency (FFA) to the US State Department for review
The new proposal was hashed out at a two day meeting that the FFA convened in Nadi, Fiji.
The meeting was for Pacific island countries and the FFA and there were no US representatives.
The Director General of the FFA, James Movick, said the proposal is being forwarded to the US as soon as possible and it was inappropriate to share the details until the US has had an opportunity to consider it.
He said the focus of the Pacific Islands was to identify options that will achieve the dual goals of allowing the island countries to move forward with an arrangement for the US Treaty for 2016, while also mitigating the financial losses posed by a revision of the treaty provisions to meet the US request for fewer fishing days.
Brian Hallman, of the American Tunaboat Association said they have not seen the proposal although they heard that there is one.
Chief Operating Officer of Tri Marine International Joe Hamby, who more than any other US tuna industry official has close ties with island countries particularly those who are members of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, indicated that there is a US proposal on the table.
Hamby said they will have to wait for boat owners to meet and discuss the Pacific Islands response to the US proposal.
He understood that the PIC’s will be meeting within the week.