PALAU for the first time is selling its fishing days under the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) vessel day scheme  (VDS) to a fishing company in the Philippines.

Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism (MNRET) Umiich Sengebau in an interview said Palau has recently entered into a bilateral agreement with RD Fishing Group, a General Santos based fishing company.

The company is reportedly known for having the largest fishing fleet in General Santos City known as the  “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”

In the agreement, Palau agrees to sell a portion of its fishing days to the company. The minimum price of the PNA for a fishing day is $8,000.

“An agreement was signed with the company for them to buy some fishing days from Palau,” Sengebau said.

Sengebau was recently in General Santos City to finalize the agreement.

He said that this is the first time that a company from the Philippines bought fishing days from Palau.

Based on allocations, Palau has 733 days to sell and price can range from $8,000 to $12,500 a day.

He said under the agreement with RD Fishing Group, the company and its fishing fleets can either fish in Palau or in the PNA waters.

PNA   controls the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery.

PNA Members are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

PNA members agree on a limited number of fishing days for the year, based on scientific advice about the status of the tuna stocks. Fishing days are then allocated by country and sold to the highest bidder.

Sengebau said Palau reaps at least $5 million dollars annually from the fishing days. (Bernadette H. Carreon/Contributor)