National Fisherman

Pacific island nations announced plans Thursday to dramatically increase the fees they charge tuna fishing boats for the right to enter their waters, saying it will boost revenue and help conservation efforts.

Around half the world's skipjack tuna, the most commonly canned variety, is caught in waters belonging to an eight-nation group known as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), which opened its annual meeting in Majuro on Thursday.

Much of the fishing is conducted by so-called "distant water" fleets from as far afield as Europe, the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, who pay US$6,000 a day for the privilege.

Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak said a plan by PNA nations to lift the day rate to US$10,000 in 2015 would help them improve management of a vital natural resource and ensure it was sustainable.

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Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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