Rethinking fisheries policy in the Pacific

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One of the most hotly debated issues of fisheries policy in the Pacific is whether or not public funds should be used to finance commercial tuna fishing ventures. Many commentators from within the region argue for public investment in the industry to stimulate domestication. In this paper we propose an alternative policy in which tuna fishing revenues are invested offshore through a trust fund, rather than re-invested in domestic commercial fishing activity. Trust fund earnings could then be used to stimulate and support private sector initiatives and alternative economic activities. We use the example of Kiribati, one of the poorer Pacific island countries, to illustrate how offshore investment through a trust fund has succeeded in generating substantial revenues, when most Kiribati government corporations, including a state-owned fishing enterprise, have performed poorly. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Marine Policy

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