The new Pacific Tuna Treaty which allows US purse seiners to fish in waters of 16 Pacific island countries will be signed this afternoon in Nadi, Fiji.
The new treaty was concluded this year after more than seven years of difficult negotiations.
US Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Beth Cefkin is set to deliver remarks at the signing which takes places as fishing nations from around the globe converge in Fiji for the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
American Samoa’s delegation to the Commission meeting is led by Director of Marine and Wildlife Resources Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga who is expected to be at the signing ceremony.
The Executive Director of the American Tunaboat Association Brian Hallman, when asked if ATA has any issues with the new Treaty said, *From the point of view of the US purse seine fleet, there are some good things about the Treaty, in particular that the high seas is no longer part of the arrangements, and that it provides for operational stability for the next 4 years.”
But he said, there are some things in the new Treaty arrangements that “we don’t like so much, mainly that fishing days are very expensive, and that there may not be enough fishing days for the US fleet.”
Nonetheless Hallman says after more than 7 years of negotiations, “we are convinced that the result was the best that could have been achieved.*