Fisheries Management

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – Management Options Consultation and Forum Fisheries Committee

NADI, FIJI & HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS OCTOBER 2009: The regional headquarters of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)
hosted 3 key meetings last week – the sixth Management Options Consultation to develop FFA positions for the Western and Central
Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, the Special Forum Fisheries Committee to approve these decisions as well as deliberate
on other strategic issues.

MANAGEMENT OPTIONS CONSULTATION AND SPECIAL FFC

FFA members participated in the Management Options Consultation where countries work cooperatively to draft proposals and negotiating
positions for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). This meeting, coordinated by FFA, is in part funded by the
Global Environment Facility Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Project.

These management recommendations were then brought to the 71st Officials Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) for further discussion and

Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks

At least 80 species of sharks and rays occur within the Pacific Islands region. Around half of these species are considered to be highly migratory, therefore fishing impacts upon them must be internationally managed. Due to their low productivity and long life span, these species are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation. Sharks and rays are also of cultural significance to many Pacific Island communities.
 
The PI-RPOA Sharks is a response to both the International Plan of Action (IPOA) for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, which encourages assessments and management of shark fisheries, and to the Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for Sharks adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), requires Commission members to set management arrangements for sharks.

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – US Treaty, Billfish Committee and SPRFMO

NADI, FIJI & HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS OCTOBER 2009: FFA participated in a number of key meetings this month, outcomes from which are detailed below.

US TREATY
The regional headquarters of FFA, Honiara, Solomon Islands, hosted the Special Pacific Islands Parties Internal Meeting on 28 October and the 1st Renegotiation Session of the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries Between Certain Governments of the Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America (commonly referred to as the "US Treaty") from 29-30 October 2009.

Initial exchange of views and discussions were positive. The Pacific Island Parties and the US expressed a shared interest in renegotiation on three key elements - licensing arrangements including financial and economic aspects, the fishing opportunities available to US flagged vessels and the duration of an extension of the Treaty arrangements which are due to expire in June 2013.

Pacific Islanders achievements in driving international tuna commission highlighted at UNDP-GEF conference

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA, MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2009: As the 5th Biennial GEF International Waters Conference hosted in Cairns opened today, participants heard about the remarkable achievements of Pacific Island countries in fisheries management.

Even though Pacific Island countries have limited resources spread over a marine area 30 million square kilometers, they have been at the forefront of developing innovative measures to manage fishing including the establishment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

The WCPFC, an international commission to set rules for fishing tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, has taken several measures to manage the tuna stocks such as cuts to bigeye tuna fishing, fishing observers, vessel monitoring system, closing some high seas pockets and introducing measures on sharks, seabirds and turtles.

Outcomes from PNA meeting this week

BIKENIBEU, TARAWA, KIRIBATI, THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER 2009: The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), met this week and agreed to actions to advance their interests in securing greater economic benefits from the tuna resources and co-ordinate and harmonise the management of common fish stocks for the benefit of their peoples.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu and often are referred to as the PNA. Their 3rd Implementing Arrangement, adopted in 2008, follows a tradition of innovation by PNA leaders in developing new initiatives to manage tuna resources in the region. Many of the measures of the PNA were also adopted at the last meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission such as the high seas pockets closure, controls on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and the coverage of purse seine fishing vessels with observers.

Scientists discuss tuna stocks at WCPFC subcommittee meeting in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU, 10-21 AUGUST 2009:  At the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Scientific Committee, scientists are discussing the state of tuna and other migratory fish stocks and associated fisheries issues.


Central to the discussions in the meeting of scientists will be a scientific evaluation of the effects of the new WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure on bigeye and yellowfin tuna, which was agreed to in December.  This measure includes a phased-in reduction of long line fishing, a phased in ban on fish aggregating devices (FADs) for 3 months of the year and the closure of two high seas pockets to stop overfishing of bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna. Many of these measures were previously adopted by a group of FFA Members that are Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).

FFA participates in Pacific Islands News Association Convention in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU, 25-30 July 2009: The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has been raising awareness of fisheries issues with media attending the conference. At a pre-conference workshop, FFA presented an overview of fisheries including fisheries management, development and control of illegal fishing and the important role of DEVFISH (www.ffa.int/devfish) and the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (www.ffa.int/gef/) in providing assistance to Pacific Island countries.

FFA also took journalists on a visit to a local tuna processing plant, to demonstrate how the Vanuatu Government is working with industry, and FFA assistance and advice, to increase local jobs and profits from tuna fishing which was covered by Vanuatu television and radio (see http://www.ffa.int/node/256).

Tuna decision making processes explained

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, MONDAY 20 JULY 2009: Ever wondered how countries negotiate the rules on tuna fishing? How international decisions between the Pacific Islands and the world’s biggest fishing countries are made? What is the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)? Who are its members and what it has done so far? How the WCPFC seeks to control fishing and illegal fishing?

WCPFC Subregional Workshops

FFA is coordinating subregional workshops so that all its 17 members have information and informal discussions to prepare for their participation in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and at its next meeting in December in French Polynesia. The workshops are an important part of FFA’s ongoing efforts to increase national capacity and strengthen regional solidarity so that member countries can manage their fisheries for the benefit of people today and for future generations.

This year there will be 2 subregional workshops:
Group 1 – Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Indonesia and Philippines
15-19 June 2009, FFA Conference Centre, Honiara

Group 2 – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu
13-17 July 2009, Hexagon Hotel, Nadi, Fiji

Countries meet to explore options for international tuna meeting

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, MONDAY 15 JUNE 2009: Fisheries officers from Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Indonesia and Philippines are in Honiara today to discuss options, positions and negotiation strategies for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting in December 2009.

FFA is coordinating subregional workshops so that all its 17 members have information and informal discussions to prepare for their participation in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and at its next meeting in December in French Polynesia.