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US to pay over US$94m in a transitional fish deal

Pacific Islands Parties (PIPs) have secured a transitional deal which will see 40 United States fishing vessels fishing in the Pacific for 12,450 days for US$94.5 million in the next 18 months. The transistional arrangement was struck last month at a session in Honiara after negotiatiors were unable to complete the new agreement. Instead, they settled for an 18-month transitional arrangement that will implement the new, tripled access fees and the agreed-to measures through to December 2014. This will extend current negotiations, which are locked into the finer issues of national laws which PIPs are trying to ease into a successor agreement.However, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Secretariat director Dr Transform Aqorau said the deal was not an ideal outcome because parties are now left with fewer days, which they can use to maximise their revenue. “The real worry will be: Can the parties still operate inside the limits when the fishery is increasingly over-subscribed,” Aqorau said. “We really have to look hard to work to the limits and not sell to all parties, irrespective of the limits set. The cake is now considerably smaller.”