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Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks launched by FFA, SPC and SPREP

PACIFIC ISLANDS, MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2009: The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) today launched the 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.
 

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

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – Oceanic Fisheries Management Project Regional Steering Committee

The 5th Regional Steering Committee was held on 7 November 2009, the final steering committee meeting for the project which ends its first phase in December 2010. Achievements of the Project were detailed in science, fisheries management and fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance.

Discussions on a potential second phase of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project agreed:
•    that the contribution of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) towards assisting Pacific SIDS in oceanic fisheries management was invaluable and much had been achieved under the current project phase;
•    that the concept for a further phase of the project support by GEF needed to be ready for an early as possible submission to minimise the impacts of the gap between the current project and the next phase on the delivery of priority activities

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.

FFA FISHERIES TRADE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2009

FFA FISHERIES TRADE NEWS : Volume 2: Issue 9 September 2009

FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
Update on fisheries subsidies 'Roadmap' discussions at the WTO

PREFERENTIAL AND FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS
EU to drop tuna tariff for Southeast Asian countries? 

FISHERIES TRADE-RELATED REGULATION
Update on EU IUU regulation: implications for developing country exports 

TUNA MARKETS
Strong growth and signs of success in India's efforts to expand tuna exports
US canned tuna brands introduce new products, campaigns 

FISHERIES TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT
Concern over bluefin decline heightens, policy action ensues

FFA members make gains at WCPFC committee

POHNPEI, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER 2009: At
the Fifth Regular Session of the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC5) of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Pohnpei this week, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) members advanced recommendations to increase effectiveness of fisheries management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

The Technical and Compliance Committee of WCPFC makes recommendations to the annual meeting of the Commission, to be held in this year in December in French Polynesia. WCPFC membership consists of the 17 members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency plus 9 other fishing nations. Decisions at WCPFC so far have been made by consensus although there are also provisions for voting.

Outcomes from the meeting include:

ACCESS TO HIGH SEAS DATA

Observers identify needs to implement WCPFC decisions

NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA & POHNPEI, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, SEPTEMBER 2008: Recent meetings of Fisheries Observers indicate that observers need more support to meet the increasing challenges set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) which is this week hosting the Technical and Compliance Committee in Pohnpei to discuss increasing observer coverage among other issues.

FFA and SPC coordinated two key observer meetings last month – the Observer Coordinator Workshop (a meeting of national observer
coordinators from 16-18 September 2009) and the Observer Data Management Workshop (a meeting regarding observer reports from 21-24
September 2009) – in Noumea, New Caledonia. A total of 18 people from FFA member countries and 3 people from Hawaii participated in these
key meetings to discuss issues relevant to observer work. Participating organisations included FFA, SPC and NOAA.