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					                                Research Proposal



Fisheries ranks fourth within Fiji’s export sector, a significant source of local
employment, foreign investment/exchange, technology transfer and general private sector
development. The sector currently contributes to 3 per cent of GDP (Raj and Evans,

 In terms of growth/performance, the sector experienced a surge in 2001, at 25 per cent
due to overseas trade and new export markets in Asia – in particular the Japanese
market. But this has tapered off to around 8 per cent more recently – and is viewed by
Fiji’s Trade and Investment Board as being amongst the sectors within the Fijian
economy that have the highest growth potential (FTIB, 2002; ADB,2003).

The values (FJD) of Fiji’s four major export sectors are: Garment 240,000,000; Sugar
230,000,000; Fish 90,000,000; Gold 75,000,000 – based on 2003 figures. For the
fisheries sector the 1999 export figures was placed at $78.8 million. However there has
been significant decline in the garment and sugar sectors with the recent changes in
preferential trade agreements (Statistical News, 2003).

On labour regulation and conditions, those employed within the formal sector are covered
under Fiji’s Employment Relations law and Wage Council regulations (Relevant Ministry
Rpt) The employment levels were at 12,000 of the 100,000 formal sector employees in
1996, but this figure has increased significantly according to unofficial reports

The hourly wage rates for the sector: learners $1.60 FJD; casual workers $2.50; skilled
workers $4.85 - $12.10. These figures are in line with wage rates within Fiji’s building
and construction and manufacturing sectors. The employer superannuation contribution is
placed at 8 per cent of gross pays. This is the average level for most of Fiji’s formal
sector (Ministry of Labour, 2005).
The Fiji government in terms of marine resources extraction fosters sustainable and
maximum returns to the economy and the industry operates under the Fiji Fisheries Act,
which regulates and sets guidelines under the administration of the Ministry of
Agriculture Fisheries and Forests.

 The sectoral growth opportunities as indicated by Fiji’s Trade and Investment Board
(FTIB) are through niche markets products such as: seaweed processing for
pharmaceuticals, red snapper, shellfish, processed prawns and crab meat. Market
potential for these products is: New Zealand, Japan and USA.

There are three sub sections to fishing in Fiji. These are: industrial, artisanal/ commercial
and subsistence. These sub sections form a key part of the local and export supply chain
in line with the study objectives, enable a deeper analysis of the impact of economic
upgrading down the value chain and implications for social upgrade and decent work.

This study focuses on two major fish processing enterprises involved in GPS: Pacific
Fishing Company Ltd (PAFCO) and Fiji Fish Limited. Which are also involved in the
local supply chain but have a strong export orientation.

Fiji Fish Ltd supplies chilled tuna for the sashimi market to the USA and Japan.
According to a recent FTIB report the market value of this export has grown from 10
million in 1992 to 40 million in 2005.

The other enterprise Pacific Fishing Company (PAFCO) is 98 per cent government
owned and is predominantly involved in canning albacore and skipjack tuna for the
European/UK and US markets. PAFCO sources supplies from local owned and
contracted foreign vessels. In terms of cannery workers, 75 per cent of the over 700
employees’ are female workers and the enterprise has long been associated with poor
labour management relations and decent work deficits (FTIB, 2006).

 Fiji Fish Limited operates a fleet of fishing vessels employing local fisherman, but also
sources supplies from subsistence and artisan fisherman – to meet export demands. The
subsistence participation level is placed at 30,000 and artisanal fisherman at 3,432
according to a 1996 South Pacific Commission (SPC) report.

Other major enterprises involved in processing seafood products are: Solander Pacific
Limited; Celtrock Holdings Limited, Ocean Trader Company. Most export semi
processed fish, smoked and dried fish, seaweed and trochus shell buttons bound for the
European and Japanese markets.

The key importers of Fiji fish products (Australia, New Zealand, U.S, Canada and
European Union) set stringent international safety standards to be complied with by the
Fiji exporters.
The Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) provides training for Fiji exporters on safe
processing/management of seafood related products (CIDA, 2003).
The stringent international standards whilst providing opportunities for growth, however,
for smaller enterprises, acts as a non tariff barrier to their participation in GPS.

Key Objective (In line with terms of reference)

To understand economic upgrade strategies under taken by enterprises involved in GPS
and the implications this has on creating employment and decent work opportunities at
various levels of the supply chain.

This is especially relevant for Fiji due to current unemployment levels placed at 8.6 per
cent (FBS, 2009) and the continuing decline exacerbated by the 2006 political crisis.

Literature Review

Various Fiji Bureau of Statistics reports provide limited baseline statistics for this study.
The drawback here is the limited literature and industry specific updated data available.

Other sources of secondary data: various reports and publications; FTIB, ILO decent
work and GPS publications, Asian Development and Fiji Ministry of Labour and
Productivity; South Pacific Commission; Reserve Bank Quarterly; CIDA seafood safety
standards update – Fiji.

A 2005 publication by Raj and Evans titled: The Role of Trade in Fisheries Production
and Consumption in Fiji - provides some baseline data for the study. But also has
limitations due to a general focus on resource sustainability as opposed to the study
objectives on GPS and decent work issues.

                              Field Work Methodology

Semi structured interviews will be carried out on key industry stakeholders. This would
allow TOR objectives to be met and also allow some degree of flexibility and serendipity
in field data collection.
Fiji Fish Limited and Pacific Fisheries Company– selected employees and key
management personnel

Fiji’s Ministry of Labour and Productivity

South Pacific Commission

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

ILO sub-regional office Suva

Select artisanal/subsistence fisherman

Fiji Employers Federation

Select members of Fiji’s Wages Council

Fiji Trade Unions Congress

Select company board members for PAFCO and Fiji Fish Limited – this would enable an
understanding of economic upgrade opportunities/plans and importers information.

                                Research Questions

                             Include research questions
      Study timeline
       not required

Budget section not required
  Works Cited

Include References