The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) facilitates regional cooperation for the sustainable use of tuna. It was established in 1979 to help countries to sustainability manage the fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile exclusive economic zones. FFA develops the capacity of members to monitor and take actions to reduce their bycatch.

The Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) maintains the Bycatch Management Information System (BMIS), which focuses on mitigating and managing bycatch in oceanic tuna and Billfish fisheries.

It is an open resource useful for fishery managers, fishers, scientists, observers, educators and anyone with an interest in fisheries management. As a reference and educational tool, the BMIS aims to support the adoption and implementation of science-based management measures so that bycatch is managed comprehensively and sustainably. The BMIS mainly focuses on highly migratory species with low reproductive rates, including seabirds, sharks and rays, sea turtles and marine mammals.

Management information in the BMIS provides context and rationale for the development of bycatch conservation and management measures.

The Pacific Community’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) assists the WCPFC and in the development of the BMIS. It also helps to manage the monitoring and reporting of bycatch.

Transhipment can be a way to cover up illegal fishing. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha