A major change to the distribution of the Japanese purse seine fleet has taken place in recent times with the limited fleet of 32 medium size single seiners now being able to also fish (by Japanese regulations) in the waters of Kiribati and Marshall Islands. The current level of access returns with the Japanese at 5% of reported catch value appears to be satisfying the requirements of many regional governments for a 'fair return'. The internal argument and position of the Japanese is that while alternative zones remain available they are controlling the market. The principal subject of this paper, is the development of a strategy (together with the estimation of costs and benefits) that might be used towards changing this position in favour of the resource owners rather than the exploiters. The requirements for such a strategy are outlined. A modelling exercise assesses and uses a surveillance function in the calculation of net benefits. This paper also suggests ways, in a 4 page appendix on the economics of fisheries compliance control, to improve the understanding of the economics of surveillance with a better chance of developing a realistic surveillance function rather than the simplistic version currently employed. Tuna stocks in the South Pacific region are considered.
Fisheries Management Science Programme, Overseas Development Administration, London, UK, 14 pp.