Renewed momentum at tuna talks

Palau’s Vice President, Jerrlyn Uduch Sengebau Senior

AS the world heads into the end of year festive season, Pacific families across the region will be sending travellers off to two key negotiation events of global significance: the COP 21 climate change talks in Paris — and the WCPFC 12 tuna management talks in Bali.

Pacific Island Countries will approach this year’s tuna talks with heightened commitment given the prominent role given to resource sustainability under the new Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries Adopted by the region’s fisheries Ministers and endorsed by Forum Leaders at their 46th session in September, the Roadmap will be a key driving influence in the way the Pacific prioritises its fisheries work and interacts with other stakeholders.

The first goal of the roadmap is improved sustainability of the region’s tuna resources through establishing catch limit measures within the next three years that would lead to biologically and economically sound levels of fishing within the next 10 years. The consultations leading to the establishment of the new Roadmap provided a regional opportunity to reflect on the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission after 11 years of existence.

FFA members noted a range of opportunities and threats to their fisheries aspirations by the very body they founded. In its formative years the WCPFC made outstanding progress, passing a large number of tuna conservation and management measures, particularly those related to Monitoring, Control and Surveillance. 

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