Tonga’s Fisheries Sector is to be exempted from the 15 percent Consumption Tax on sales, the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano told a gathering at Tu’imatamoana Wharf on Tuesday, 9 April.
The ‘cheap’ tuna fishing license fees that the Tonga government sells foreign fishing boats, ‘a tear drop in the ocean.’
As the harvesting season for sea cucumbers draws to a close on September 30, a total of 10 licenses have been issued to local operators for export.
Tonga has reversed its decision to close the fishing of sea cucumbers for three years and re-opened in June with 10 licenses issued bringing the government some short term cash in licensing fees, but against the best advice of its fisheries experts who warn that closure is the best option for managing the sea cucumber stock sustainably.
Developing and strengthening the capacity of Forum Fisheries Agency members to harvest and control tuna resources in a sustainable way was a key issue to be discussed at the 8th Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee Meeting held from June 28-29 in Tonga.