Welcome to Tuvalu
Last updated March 4, 2013

Discover Tuvalu, a beautiful independent member of the PNA.

At just 26 square kilometers (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world in terms of land size, larger only than the Vatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi) and Nauru at 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi). The population of 11,636 (est 2005) live on Tuvalu's nine atolls, which makes Tuvalu the world’s 3rd least populated country.

Fishing is vital for Tuvalu’s economy as farming is limited due to poor soils and lack of fresh water. There is no large scale fishing taking place domestically at the present time, but artisanal fishing is universal. All of the artisanal catch is sold and consumed locally.

We invite you to get to know more about Tuvalu!

SourceDS World's Lands
General Information
Capital Funafuti
Languages Tuvaluan
Total Land Mass 26 km2 (10 sq mi)
Total EEZ 751,797 km2
Equivalent to the size of Chile
Population 10,544
Currency Australian Dollar
See complete table
Source Wikipedia
Tuna Catching Data
1. National Catching Data by Domestic Fleet
Source WCPFC
The tables of annual catch estimates for individual fleets cover those years during which the fleet is known to have fished; the lack of recent years in a table implies that the fleet has ceased fishing.
2. Total Catch in Tuvalu Waters in MT by Domestic and Foreign Fleet
Source WCPFC
The total 2010 catches was 60,233 MT
  • Albacore 156 MT (0,26%)
  • Bigeye 1,189 MT (1,97%)
  • Skipjack 55,192 MT (91,63%)
  • Yellowfin 3,696 (6,14%)
  • Catches by Purse Seine 59,380 MT
    • Bigeye 957 MT (1.6%)
    • Skipjack 55,176 MT (93%)
    • Yellowfin 3,346MT (5%)
  • Catches by longliners 825 MT
    • Albacore 156 MT (18%)
    • Bigeye 232 MT (28%)
    • Yellowfin 437 (53%)
Tuvalu 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.
The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. In 1568 Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña sailed through the islands and is understood to have sighted Nui during his expedition in search of Terra Australis. In 1819 the island of Funafuti was named Ellice's Island; the name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay (1812–1876).

The islands came under Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century, when the Ellice Islands were declared a British protectorate by Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacao, between 9 and 16 October 1892. The Ellice Islands were administered as British protectorate by a Resident Commissioner from 1892 to 1916 as part of the British Western Pacific Territories (BWPT), and later as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony from 1916 to 1974.

In 1974, the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status. As a consequence Tuvalu separated from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on 1 October 1978. On 5 September 2000, Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations.
Tuvalu A PNA member
Tuvalu was one of the eight countries who signed the Nauru Agreement in 1982.
Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and six true atolls. Its small, scattered group of atolls have poor soil and a total land area of only about 26 square kilometers (less than 10 sq. mi) making it the fourth smallest country in the world. The islets that form the atolls are very low lying. Nanumanga, Niutao,Niulakita are reef islands and the six true atolls are Funafuti, Nanumea, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu. Funafuti is the largest atoll of the nine low reef islands and atolls that form the Tuvalu island chain. It comprises numerous islets around a central lagoon that is approximately 25.1 kilometers (15.6 miles) (N–S) by 18.4 kilometers (11.4 miles) (W-E), centered on 179°7’E and 8°30’S. On the atolls, an annular reef rim surrounds the lagoon with several natural reef channels.

The highest elevation is 4.6 meters (15 ft) above sea level on Niulakita, which gives Tuvalu the second-lowest maximum elevation of any country (after the Maldives).
From 1996 to 2002, Tuvalu was one of the best-performing Pacific Island economies and achieved an average real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.6 per cent per annum. Since 2002 economic growth has slowed, with GDP of 1.5% in 2008. Tuvalu was exposed to rapid rises in world prices of fuel and food in 2008, with the level of inflation peaking at 13.4%.The International Monetary Fund 2010 Report on Tuvalu estimates that Tuvalu experienced zero growth in its 2010 GDP, after the economy contracted by about 2% in 2009.

Public sector workers make up about two-thirds of those formally employed. Approximately 15% of adult males work as seamen on foreign-flagged merchant ships. Tuvaluans are otherwise involved in traditional subsistence agriculture and fishing.

Tuvalu generates income from the Tuvalu Trust Fund, the commercialization of the ‘.tv’ top level domain, fishing licenses, the sale of stamps and coins, remittances from Tuvaluans living in Australia and New Zealand, and remittances from Tuvaluan sailors employed on overseas ships.

Due to the country's remoteness, tourism does not provide much income; a thousand visitors are estimated to visit Tuvalu annually.
The Tuvaluan language related to all other Polynesian languages such as Hawaiian, Māori, Tahitian, Samoan and Tongan. It is most closely related to the languages spoken on the Polynesian outliers in Micronesia and Northern and Central Melanesia. The Tuvaluan language has borrowed considerably from Samoan, the language of Christian missionaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There are about 13,000 Tuvaluan speakers worldwide. The Tuvalu Media Corporation publishes Sikuleo o Tuvalu – Tuvalu Echo (previously Tuvalu Echoes), a fortnightly newspaper and a news website.
The Church of Tuvalu, which has historic ties to the Congregational Church and other churches in Samoa, has the largest number of followers.

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. Societal abuses or discrimination based on religious belief or practice occur, but are relatively infrequent.
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