Republished from Undercurrent News, 26 July 2019

Climate change will cost Pacific island countries and territories about $60 million in lost tuna-related revenue by 2050, Johann Bell, senior director of Pacific tuna fisheries at Conservation International, reportedly told the Pacific Islands News Association.

The estimate is based on recent modeling done with tuna biomass within the exclusive economic zones of the Pacific island countries and territories, assuming a 15% movement of skipjack and yellowfin to the east, he said. As a result, he explained, regional governments will receive less revenue because foreign fishing fleets will take more of their tuna catch from the high seas where they do not have to pay licensing fees.

Bell was reportedly speaking at the conclusion of the Pacific Community workshop for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030, an event held in Noumea, in the French territory New Caledonia.

In 2016, license fees revenue for all the Pacific island countries and territories was about $465m, he said.