SAN DIEGO & SUVA, Fiji--(BUSINESS WIRE)--South Pacific Tuna Corporation and The Global Companies (Ocean Global, LLC; Sea Global, LLC; and Pacific Global, LLC) joined other tuna industry leaders and delegates representing American Samoa this week for negations between the Governments of the United States and the Pacific Island Nations regarding the 27-year-old South Pacific Tuna Treaty, a cornerstone of commercial support to the Pacific Island Nations.
After a week of intense dialogue between all affected parties, the delegation was dismissed without coming to any formal agreement. The following is a statement from J Douglas Hines, executive director of South Pacific Tuna Corporation, and partner in The Global Companies:
“This week’s discussions did inch us closer to achieving our industry goals, but I cannot hide my frustration with our lack of formal progress. It is going to take another meeting in the near future to finalize, and in the meantime, ongoing communication on all fronts.
“From the commercial side, tremendous strides were made in a short window of time to create a structure that could be workable for all. The proposal needs refinement, and we are highly aware of the needs of our fishing partners, but we believe that a path can be created for all partners to achieve their stated goals.
“Although there remains a need for clarification between the Pacific Fisheries Forum and U.S. Government in a number of areas, the underlying feeling is that the issues can be resolved and discussions can move forward, as long as all involved parties continue to work for the good of all.
“The U.S. Tuna Fleet has been unable to operate at full capacity due to ongoing Treaty negotiations since August of 2015. Our Fleet was forced to cease fishing operations entirely in the first quarter of this year. Even so, we have not wavered and have been working against the clock since the U.S. announced a formal withdrawal from the existing Treaty in January. As I have stated before, a dissolution of this Treaty would be devastating to the U.S. Fleet and the tuna industry as a whole, collapsing the vessels operating under U.S. Flag, as well as the commercial operations that depend on their harvest. This has a direct effect on thousands of jobs in the Islands Nations, American Samoa and in the continental U.S.
“Despite our disappointment, concern and frustration, we remain committed to working with the U.S. Government and Congressional Leadership in support of a resolution between all parties. We will be reaching out to those in these positions, as well as those in the Pacific Island Nations, to develop solutions. The Treaty and related Fleet operations are too important to too many people to give up now.”
About South Pacific Tuna Corporation
South Pacific Tuna Corporation is a United States-based tuna vessel management company headquartered in San Diego, California. Its 14 U.S. Flag tuna vessels fish in the Western Pacific under the rules and regulations outlined by the South Pacific Tuna Treaty. Learn more about the company’s commitment to safety and environmental sustainability at www.sopactuna.com.