Tuna offers more hope for the Solomon Islands after a huge caught in its EEZ

About 142 tonnes of fish stocks worth around $2.4 billion (USD$306 million) were caught in Solomon Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

This was based on the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) member states comparative development indicators from 2016-2018.

The country’s own fleet caught about 54 tonnes worth about $843.6 million (USD$106 million).

From the fish stock caught, 21,250 tonnes were processed onshore.

According to the report, about 3,009 people were employed in the tuna industry in the Solomon Islands.

Furthermore, the country exports tuna products worth $533.2 million (US$67 million).

Solomon Islands has received $334.2 million (US$42 million) from access and licence fees.

The report said Government received 10 percent as revenue from the fees.

The annual catch if albacore, bigeye, skip jack and yellow fin from the national waters of FFA members averaged around 1.5 million metric tonnes over 2016-2018.

This was five percent lover than that averaged between 2013 and 2015.

This accounted for 57 percent of the Western and Central Pacific region (WCPO) tuna catch and 31 percent of the global tuna catch in 2018.

The average value of the annual catch in FFA waters between 2016 and 2018 was US$2.9 billion, 51 percent of the average value of WCPO annual catch of $5.7 billion.

The purse seine fishery contributed on average (2016-2018) just above 80 percent (US$2.4 billion) of the total average (2016-2018) catch value in the FFA EEZ.

The average (2016-2018) value of the skip jack catch was 60 percent of the total value of the harvest; yellowfin, bigeye and albacore contributed 29 percent, 8 percent and 4 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, tuna as a national asset for the Solomon Islands offers more hope for the country in the current covid-19 pandemic.

Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Frederick Kologeto echoed this last week.

“Today in the current COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing, this national asset offers more hope in this time of uncertainty. It serves as our everyday food and it serves as a revenue earner for our economy and this is why tuna is a true national asset for our country and people.

Allan Rahari Director Fisheries Operations, Forum Fisheries Agency says tuna supports regional food security, employment and economic development and promoted national GDP indeed economic resilience for the Pacific Tuna fisheries, in particular, is important during the challenges during this uncertain time.

The story was published at the Island Sun, reposted via PACNEWS.

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