Title: Making the vessel day scheme (VDS) work

Final project
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Vessel day scheme (VDS); ENSO events; side-payment scheme.


The Republic of Nauru a single island state located in the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), where much of its economy relies on its foreign fishing licenses and access fees in its post-phosphate transition. The recent implementation of the vessel day scheme (VDS) strategy in the WCPO region to ensure sustainability of its tropical tuna stocks and maximise national economic revenues raises contentious issues for a nation with limited natural resources. The challenge is in implementing the VDS strategy in a region where tuna abundance and distribution has been found to be clearly impacted upon by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. This management strategy exposes nations with narrow-based economies to the sudden high fluctuations of the ENSO events. This study used Nash‘s game-theoretical approach to propose a side-payment scheme with a fixed share and a five-year moving average option to complement the VDS with respect to the PNA coalition. The recommendation for optimal management at this time for Nauru is a side-payment with the VDS. The principles of the side-payment scheme can be further enhanced to establish the core of this game, where the Pacific island countries (PIC) extend their management of the tunas in the high-seas enclave. The recently established Tuna Convention (Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission) in the region can catalyse this opportunity. However, the next step to ensure that the conservation measures for tropical tuna stocks are addressed is to introduce a tax system with the VDS side-payment strategy in the WCPO region.

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