Welcome to Kiribati
Last updated February 18, 2013
Kiribati is another of the stunning members of the PNA Island Nations. The permanent population is just over 100,000 and the island is composed of 32 atolls and one raised coral island dispersed in a massive Exclusive Economic Zone, the largest of all the PNA member countries an area of 3,550,000 square kilometers (1,351,000 square miles) straddling the equator, and bordering the International Date Line at its easternmost point. Kiribati’s EEZ has always pose a significant development opportunity and surveillance challenge for this PNA country.

The name Kiribati is the local pronunciation of "Gilberts", derived from the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands. Get to know more about Kiribati on this page!
SourceDS World's Lands
General Information
Capital South Tarawa
Languages English
Total Land Area 811 km2
Total EEZ 3,550,000 km2 (1,351,000 sq mi)
Area compared and just above the total Land Area of India
Population 2010 103,500
Currency Kiribati Dollar
Australian Dollar
See complete table
Source Wikipedia
Tuna Catching Data
1. National Catching Data by Domestic Fleet
Source WCPFC
The current estimate of the total catch by Kiribati vessels within the WCPFC Convention Area for the year 2011 is 47,058 mt.

There are 9 purse seiners, 4 longliner, 19 fish carriers, 5 bunkers, and 1 pole and line vessel active under the flag of Kiribati.
  • Catches by Purse Seine 46,536 MT
    • Skipjack 35,116 MT (75%)
    • Yellowfin 8,182 MT (18%)
    • Bigeye 3,216 MT (7%)
    • Other Catch  22 MT
  • Catches by longliners 362 MT
    • Albacore  177 MT (49%)
    • Bigeye 70 MT (19%)
    • Yellowfin 115 MT (32%)
  • Catches by Pole and Line  160 MT
    • Skipjack 142 MT (89%)
    • Yellowfin 10 MT (6%)
    • Bigeye 8 MT (5%)
Source WCPFC
2. Total Catch in Kiribati Waters in MT by Domestic and Foreign Fleet
Source WCPFC
The total 2010 tuna catches were 255,685 MT
  • Albacore 633 MT (0%)
  • Bigeye 13,032 MT (5%)
  • Skipjack 205,003 MT (80%)
  • Yellowfin 37,017 (14%)
  • Catches by Purse Seine 237,897 MT
    • Bigeye 10,325 MT (4%)
    • Skipjack 196,542 MT (83%)
    • Yellowfin 31,030 MT (13%)
  • Catches by longliners 4,799 MT
    • Albacore 633 MT (13%)
    • Bigeye 2,707 MT (56%)
    • Yellowfin 1,458 (30%)
  • Catches by other Gears  12,987 MT
    • Skipjack 8, 452 MT (65%)
    • Yellowfin 4,529 MT (35%)
Kiribati manages a Vessel Day Scheme (VDS)
The VDS is a scheme under the Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Purse Seine Fishery (PNA, 2004), which establishes a system of tradable fishing days allocated to the Parties as Party Allowable Effort (PAE). The Arrangement was established to
  • Regulate the total allowable effort by purse seine vessels licensed by the Parties at any one time, in response to scientific advice on resource sustainability.
  • Provide a basis for increasing economic benefits to resource-owning states and economic returns to participating vessel owners.
Record of Fishing Vessels in Kiribati
Vessel Name Reg No IRCS Vessel Type Length
BETTY C KI-11740854 E5U2230 Tuna purse seiner 200.5
JEANNINE K-11740993 T3SF Purse seiner 61.2
KAO NO.1 KSR 30/94 T3AG Tuna purse seiner 56.52
MARIRAOI K-14801164 T3AF2 Tuna purse seiner 68.1
MATAIKA K-14751159 T3AA2 Tuna purse seiner 60.48
MOAMAEU K-14801295 T3BL2 Tuna purse seiner 72.64
MOAMARI K-14821133 T3JG Tuna purse seiner 76.06
PACIFIC STAR K-1100969 T3RG Tuna purse seiner 107.67
See all 44 approved vessels
Source WCPFC
Kiribati has been inhabited by Micronesians speaking the same Oceanic language since sometime between 3000 BC and AD 1300. The area was not isolated; invaders from Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji later introduced Polynesian and Melanesian cultural aspects, respectively.

The islands were first sighted by British and American ships in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The main island chain was named the Gilbert Islands after a British captain named Thomas Gilbert, who crossed the archipelago in 1788 when sailing from Australia to China.

The first British settlers arrived in 1837. In 1892 the Gilbert Islands consented to become a British protectorate together with the nearby Ellice Islands (today called as Tuvalu). Together they became the crown colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916. Christmas Island (or Kiritimati) became part of the colony in 1919 and the Phoenix Islands were added in 1937.

Some of the islands of Kiribati were formerly occupied by Japan during World War II and some others were used by the United States and United Kingdom for nuclear weapons testing including hydrogen bombs in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The Gilbert and Ellice Islands gained self-rule in 1971, and were separated in 1975 and granted internal self-government by Britain. The Gilbert Islands became independent as Kiribati on 12 July 1979.

In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees. Kiribati is expected to be the first country in which all land territory disappears due to global climate change. In June 2008, the Kiribati president Anote Tong said that the country has reached "the point of no return"; he added "To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that."

In early 2012, the government of Kiribati purchased the 2,200-hectare Natoavatu Estate on the second largest island of Fiji, Vanua Levu. At the time it was widely, but incorrectly, reported that the Government planned to evacuate the entire population of Kiribati to Fiji.
Kiribati A PNA member

In 1982, Kiribati joined the Parties of the Nauru Agreement along to all the other 6 members through the coordination of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). Tuvalu joined later. Today the PNA office is independent and was created in 2010, based in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

In December 2011, the purse-seine free-school skipjack fishery, was certified according to Marine Stewardship Council standards as being sustainable. This means that all skipjack products caught from free schools by PNA-licensed and product-chain-certified purse-seiners fishing in the waters of Kiribati or any of the PNA countries EEZ will be eligible for the sustainable and globally well know MSC ecolabel.

Kiribati consists of 32 atolls and one island scattered over all four hemispheres in an expanse of ocean equivalent in size to the continental United States. The islands lie roughly halfway between Hawaiʻi and Australia in the Micronesian region of the South Pacific. The three main island groupings are the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Line Islands. On 1 January 1995 Kiribati moved the International Date Line to include its easternmost islands and make it the same day throughout the country.

Kiribati includes Kiritimati (Christmas Atoll; in the Line Islands), the largest coral atoll (in terms of land area, not dimensions) in the world, and Banaba (Ocean Island), one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific.

Most of the land on these islands is less than two meters above sea level.[1] A 1989 United Nations report identified Kiribati as one of the countries that could completely disappear in the 21st century if steps are not taken to address global climate change.
Kiribati's economy faces significant constraints common to other island atoll states. These include its small size, remoteness and geographical fragmentation, a harsh natural environment with infertile soils, limited exploitable resources, and the need to create jobs and promote growth for an expanding population.

Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. Kiribati is considered one of the least developed countries in the world. In one form or another, Kiribati gets a large portion of its income from abroad. Examples include fishing licenses, development assistance, worker remittances, and tourism. Given Kiribati's limited domestic production ability, it must import nearly all of its essential foodstuffs and manufactured items; it depends on these external sources of income for financing.

Pacifical MSC skipjack tuna and the PNA office seek use the abundance of tuna resources for the development of the region by the creation of more work placements and generating income for the local people. All this will be achieved by expanding the PNA tuna processing industry and establishing direct relations with retailers and end consumers. We expect to increase the amount of tuna processed in whole PNA region, including Kiribati by least 25%.
English is the official language of Kiribati along with the native I-Kiribati. While English is used heavily in South Tarawa the further away from the capital you go the stronger the I-Kiribati tongue. Most people on Kiritimati Island have some English. Nearly all Kiribatians also speak the local language Gilbertese, derived from the name of the Gilbert Islands named after Thomas Gilbert, the first European to discover the islands.
Christian groups form about 96% of the Kiribati population by census counts. The Christian population is divided among general population by census counts as the Roman Catholic Church, 55 percent; Kiribati Protestant Church, 36 percent; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), 2 percent; and the Seventh-day Adventists, 2 percent.
Kiribati Pacific Ocean Paradise
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