Projects

Investigating Investment Opportunities for PNA Fisheries

What

SFG is partnering with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to assess the potential of various fishery management investments to improve the long-term sustainability and economic performance of coastal and pelagic fisheries in Palau and the Marshall Islands. 
 

Why

The Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA)--a collection of eight island nations in the western and central Pacific Ocean--controls one of the largest purse seine fisheries in the world, accounting for approximately 50% of global skipjack catch. This pelagic fishery is carefully managed under a Vessel Day Scheme in which fishing days are allocated to the eight PNA member countries, which they then auction off to the highest bidder. The revenues generated from this process provide a valuable source of income for many PNA countries, but most of the tuna processing, distribution, and other economic activities that generate substantial revenue occurs outside the PNA. In order to increase the value they’re able to capture from their fishery, the PNA is considering a variety of pathways for improving their management practices and domesticating a larger portion of the tuna supply chain (e.g., bringing processing facilities onshore).

Closer to shore, most PNA countries have small domestic and subsistence fisheries that are incredibly important for local food security. Many of these coastal fisheries have little to no regulations in place, and little to no budget for supporting an effective management system. The objective of this work is to help Palau and the Marshall Islands better understand how management improvements could enhance the economic and biological performance of these countries’ coastal fisheries. Because investment decisions can be difficult to make, especially when resources are limited, we will produce information that should help managers determine how to optimally spend their limited funds, and how to make the case to key stakeholders for allocating additional public resources (e.g., funds developed through domestication and commercialization activities) to fisheries management.

 

How

By talking directly with governments and in-country experts, TNC and SFG will identify investment priorities for improving fisheries management, then use a bioeconomic model to quantify the costs of and benefits of improved management in both coastal and offshore fisheries.
 

Who

This project is a collaboration between SFG and The Nature Conservancy. We have received approval to conduct this work from the governments of Palau and the Marshall Islands.