Secretariat of the Pacific Community – Oceanic Fisheries Programme

Scretariat of the Pacific Community - Oceanic Fisheries Programme

The SPC is the oldest and largest of the Pacific Islands regional organisations, with membership including metropolitan countries (France, UK and the US) and their territories. It provides technical advice, training and research to develop the capabilities of its members focused in the areas of land and marine resources, health and socio-economics.

The objective of the SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme is to provide member countries with the scientific information and advice necessary to rationally manage fisheries exploiting the region's resources of tuna, billfish and related species.

The three major programmes of the OFP are:

  • Statistics and Monitoring, including the maintenance and development of national and regional fishery databases and estimation of fishing catches and effort;
  • Ecology and Biology, including the study of the biology and behaviour of tuna and related species, the effect of environmental variability, including climate change on pelagic stocks and the pelagic ecosystem and ecosystem research; and
  • Stock Assessment and Modelling, particularly the use of statistical population dynamics models to provide assessments of stocks targeted by fishing in the region and scientific advice on the management of those stocks.

OFP activities are currently funded largely by donors, with some funding from the SPC core budget financed by contributions of Members. The OFP will be the major provider of scientific services to the WCPF Commission. The cost of these services will progressively be financed by the Commission. The OFP will also be responsible for the bulk of the activities under Component 1 of the Project.

Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish

The Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish (SCTB) has provided an informal annual forum for scientists and others with an interest in the tuna stocks of the western and central Pacific region to meet to discuss scientific issues related to data, research and stock assessment. It is supported by the SPC/OFP. Its aims are to coordinate fisheries data collection, compilation and dissemination; review research on the biology, ecology, environment and fisheries for tunas and associated species; identify research needs and provide a means of coordination to most efficiently and effectively meet those needs; provide assessments of stock status; and provide opinion on various scientific issues related to data, research and stock assessment of western and central Pacific Ocean tuna fisheries. The Standing Committee has provided a venue for scientific collaboration in the areas listed above in the absence of formal intergovernmental arrangements for this purpose. The SCTB met for the last time in August 2004. Its functions will be taken over by the Scientific Committee of the WCPF Commission.