St. Vincent & the Grenadines Green Party


Fri 18th Sep 2015

Taiwan makes billions with SVG’s tuna-fishing licence and gives us peanuts in return


The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) says that fishing vessels should offload their fish catch in the country of the flag the fishing vessel is flying. Taiwan has been using SVG’s deep-sea, tuna fishing licence and SVG’s national flag for many years.

Taiwan fishing vessels in the Atlantic Ocean, recognised as local fishing vessels from SVG, should be offloading their catch in SVG.

Taiwan has made a fortune using SVG’S tuna fishing licence, however Taiwan does not offload its fish catch in SVG and does not pay fish tax to the SVG Treasury. Taiwan should pay SVG hundreds of millions of dollars every year in fish tax, but the ULP regime is turning a blind eye to this big source of revenue loss and tax evasion.

Taiwan is a major obstacle to the development of the SVG economy. Taiwan’s presence in SVG perpetuates poverty and high unemployment.

According to the Taipei Times, a Taiwan national newspaper, Taiwan uses a new jumbo class of fishing boats. Taiwan's new boats can catch up to 20,000 tonnes of tuna a year.

In 2012, a bluefin tuna was sold for three quarters of a million US dollars in Tokyo. The bluefin tuna, prized for making the finest sushi, fetched US$736,000 (EC$1,987,200) at Tsukiji fish market's first auction of the year. The 269kg tuna was US$2,737 (EC$7,389.90) per kilogram.

If we assume a Taiwanese boat, using SVG's fish licence and flying SVG’s national flag, catches only 5,000 tonnes of tuna a year, that translates to

1 tonne = 1000kgs, therefore 5000 tonnes = 5,000,000kgs.

Taiwan has about 40 boats using SVG's fish licence and flying SVG’s national flag. In total, these 40 boats catch

40 x 5,000,000kg = 200,000,000kgs of tuna.

Let's assume a price of only EC$400 a kg, less than one tenth of what the record tuna got in 2012.

At EC$400 a kg, each year it is conservatively estimated that Taiwan earns on SVG's fish licence

200,000,000kgs x EC$400 = EC$80,000,000,000 - in other words, 80 billion EC dollars each year.

The people of SVG get none of this money. Instead we get the occasional donation of a few scholarships or a few motor cycles or an insulting cheque. This is outrageous and immoral, and while thousands people of SVG suffer in poverty, Gonsalves allows this to happen.

It is unfair and discriminatory that Taiwan gets away with not paying hundreds of millions of dollars in tax, while our children go hungry, while our children live in households without mains water and electricity and while our children fail to get an education, because their family cannot afford books, uniforms and fees.

An SVG Green Party government will end this abuse of the Vincentian people by Gonsalves and Taiwan. We will cut ties with parasitic Taiwan and make ties with China.

A Green Party government will set up a joint venture tuna fishing and canning industry with China to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in fish tax to the SVG Treasury and to create thousands of new jobs in a billion-dollar tuna fish industry.

Our country needs change. We need to generate new sources of revenue to drive economic growth and create new sources of employment. At the next general election in SVG, vote for an SVG Green Party government. Put your X next to the telephone.

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