WCPFC Discusses Tropical Tuna Conservation, Monitoring System
2 April 2012: The eighth plenary session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) ended without adoption of a new Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for tropic tuna, despite the WCPFC Scientific Committee's requests for stronger measures.
WCPFC did strengthen the monitoring system and re-opened the Water High Seas pockets with special management of the Philippines fishery, which will limit the number of vessels, thereby reducing pressure on tuna spawning grounds in the coastal States' Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).
Commenting on the outcomes of the session, the European Commission expressed concern about the intention of the eight parties to the Nauru Agreement (the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu) to apply a different level of effort limitation in their waters. Country parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA countries) intend to apply 2010 limits to the number of allowable fishing days. The European Commission noted that this was the highest-ever allowable limit set for the fishery and may have adverse impacts on tuna populations. The eighth WCPFC Plenary took place in Guam from 26-31 March 2012. The ninth session is scheduled to take place in December 2012.
WCPFC members are: Australia, China, Canada, Cook Islands, the EU, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Tuvalu, the US and Vanuatu. [European Commission Press Release]