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The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) facilitates regional cooperation for the sustainable use of tuna. It was established in 1979 to help countries sustainability manage the fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile (320-km) EEZ. FFA develops the capacity of members to sustainably harvest their fishery resources.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) was established in mid-2004 under the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. It operates across exclusive economic zones (EEZs) as well as the high seas.

The WCPF Convention seeks to address problems in managing high-seas fisheries, including those related to catch and harvest. These problems include unregulated fishing, excessive fleet capacity, insufficiently selective fishing gear, unreliable databases, and insufficient multilateral cooperation to conserve and manage highly migratory fish stock.

The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) of the Pacific Community assists the WCPFC and FFA with catch-and-harvest management of tuna fisheries. It develops and maintains databases and monitoring programs, provides advice and builds the capacity of small island developing states (SIDS).

Harvest strategy means more responsive management of fisheries

The commission has agreed to adopt a harvest strategy recommended by SPC. To implement the harvest strategy, more responsive management and adaptive management need to be used. These should see the Pacific fisheries managed better, so that fish stocks can remain healthy. Hear SPC’s Graham Pilling explain (1.26 mins).

 

The WCPF Convention seeks to address problems related to tuna fishing, so that tuna remain healthy and continue to be available in sufficient numbers, to protect ocean environments and provide incomes to people from the Pacific Islands and distant nations. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha.