The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) says a strong El Nino event this year is likely to push tuna fisheries towards the central Pacific and away from fishing grounds of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Palau.
The SPC's Oceanic Fisheries Programme Manager, John Hampton, says this year's El Nino event is predicted to be the strongest since 1997. He says stocks will likely move towards the exclusive economic zones of Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau and Nauru, as water temperatures change.
"We should see very strong fishing activity and catches over towards the central Pacific side of the region. If this event impacts the biology of the tuna resource in a similar fashion as it has in the past, we should possibly see a fairly strong recruitment particularly for Skipjack tuna next year, towards the end of next year."
John Hampton says this suggests the high catches being experienced at the moment will continue, and while that's good from a catching perspective, there is concern the current depressed price of Skipjack tuna in the marketplace will not be assisted by continuing strong supply.