Compliance Strengthening

Compliance Strenthening is concerned with the monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement actions necessary to ensure compliance with the national and regional legal frameworks that will be the focus of the legal reform activities of the project.

The provisions on compliance in the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, mirrored and extended in the WCPF Convention are, perhaps, the major area of innovation in those instruments. These provisions spring from the difficulties faced by members of international fisheries organisations such as NAFO, where NAFO member states were powerless to take action to ensure that measures adopted by the organisation were being applied by flag states in the high seas. The compliance package in the WCPF Convention establishes detailed regulation over fishing in the high seas, including: authorisation, boarding and inspection; vessel monitoring and control of transhipment; a vessel register, with an operational role for the Commission in these areas; and the establishment of a region-wide observer program. These provisions were among the most contentious in the negotiation of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the WCPF Convention and progress in this area has also been slow in the WCPF Preparatory Conference. Broadly, the interests of Pacific SIDS lie in the fullest possible application of the compliance provisions of the WCPF Convention, but there are challenges in achieving this within the Commission given the effects of these provisions and the global precedents that applications in the WCPF Commission will set.

Under the pilot activities of the South Pacific SAP Project, Pacific SIDS developed a draft MCS scheme for the Commission. The project will support Pacific SIDS as they work on securing adoption of the measures and programmes in the draft Scheme through the Commission’s Technical and Compliance Committee. This will require the formulation and presentation of detailed proposals for the Commission in the areas of high seas fishing authorisation, Commission vessel register, marking of vessels and gear, recording and reporting, VMS, at-sea inspection, port inspection, observers, transhipment controls, reporting and response to infringements, sanctions and deterring non-Contracting Party IUU vessels. For this work, the project will provide expert advice and funding for a Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Working Group. In addition to providing a forum for developing proposals for the Commission’s compliance programmes in the areas listed above, the MCS Working Group will also serve as a forum for strengthening coordination of MCS arrangements between Pacific SIDS and with cooperating partners and for exchange of information on common MCS issues, including MCS costs and possible new technologies for MCS.

Advanced Evidence Training Course Report.pdf550.56 KB