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
Outcomes of the MOC, as approved by FFC, include:
ILLEGAL FISHING –FFA members agreed to continue leading efforts to ensure that the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has
in place an adequate legal framework to take action against illegal vessels and that Commission members use that framework to the fullest
extent possible. FFC discussed a number of priority areas of work required to ensure that this is achieved and will be addressing those
priorities at the WCPFC.
CHARTER ARRANGEMENTS – Members re-affirmed the importance of positive arrangements for vessel chartering to domestic fishery development and
agreed to work at the Commission to secure such arrangements.
BIGEYE AND YELLOWFIN TUNA CONSERVATION – The WCPFC agreed to a package of management measures for bigeye and yellowfin in 2008 that was
largely based on the arrangements already enacted by FFA members. FFC considered a range of outstanding issues in the package and agreed on
ways to progress these.
FFC agreed to make recommendations for the WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure on Swordfish including a continuation of catch
limits and making more effective the so-called ‘penalty clause’ which stipulates that a country that catches over its limit one year must
make up for it the following year by taking a cut in their allowable catch.