The opening ceremony of the 20th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC20), family photo of all delegates at Te Are Kariori (National Auditorium). MELINA ETCHES/23120410
The 20th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC20) concludes today at the National Auditorium, with decisions expected on several key proposals.
One of the proposals
introduced on the first day of the meeting concerns the renegotiation of the
tropical tuna measure, which guides fishing controls for bigeye, skipjack, and
yellowfin tuna. The current measure expires at the end of this year, and the
Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) proposes restricting purse seine effort on the
high seas as part of its review.
representing the observer organisation Pew Charitable Trusts, advocated for a
management procedure for Pacific skipjack tuna, which accounts for one-third of
the world’s tuna catch and boasts a final-point-of-sale value of USD $9.65
Last year, the
WCPFC adopted a modernised management plan for the Pacific skipjack tuna
fishery. However, Holmes noted that the adopted management procedures lacked
implementation details. He hopes that will be addressed by the meeting’s
“Last week, just
before the Commission started, FFA put forward an updated proposal that
effectively links the tropical tuna measure to the skipjack measure,” Holmes
explained to Cook Islands News. “Their proposal states that if catches under
the tropical tuna measure exceed those allowed under the skipjack management
procedure, the Commission needs to come back and work out a way to keep those
catch levels within the bounds of the management procedure.”
the importance of managing skipjack tuna stocks sustainably, as they represent
a significant revenue source for many Pacific Island nations.
He highlighted the
healthy status of all tuna stocks in the region and stressed the importance of
implementing measures to ensure their continued sustainability.
“The tropical tuna
measure, before the FFA proposal, had a disconnect from the basis that the
management procedure was built on and the proposal put forward now basically
bridges the gap between the two so that we can have sustainable management
going forward,” Holmes stated.
essentially include checks and balances to make sure that things don’t go off
track and if they do start to go off track, the Commission comes back to the
table, figures out what the problem is and solves it.”