Annually, at least 2.5 million metric tonnes of the global tuna catch is destined for canning; the majority of which is caught by purse seine vessels.
The regional roadmap for sustainable Pacific fisheries anticipates a doubling in the value of the region’s tuna catch by 2024, from a 2014 value of US $3.1 billion.
To say tuna is important is an understatement. Today, Tuna is the planet’s most valuable fish.
The term TunaNomics was coined by the Pacific’s fisheries industry stakeholders to define the movement and importance of Pacific Tuna, not merely the sustainability but more so the economic importance and viability.
60 per cent of the world’s fish comes from the Pacific, and while the region as a whole has made enormous strides in fisheries management and fisheries development, Papua New Guinea is at the forefront of this progress.
Papua New Guinea, being one of the bigger Pacific island nations, is a major player in the region’s tuna exports.
However, this also means that a lot of its responsibilities rest on the country’s shoulders. These include strictly regulating fishing to within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing which if not policed, has a detrimental effect on the market.
The National Fisheries Authority, with assistance from regional organisation, the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency, is taking proactive steps towards ensuring economic and social benefits from the sustainable management of Pacific tuna.