Spread the love
By ILIESA TORA
Ho Chin Mi, VIETNAM – December 4, 2022: 8pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Adoption of a new Skipjack Tuna Management Procedure and selections of new executives for the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission saw the 19th Regular Session closed on a high note in Ba Dang last night.
Sighs of relief and applauses echoed throughout the Royal Lotus Convention Centre as the announcements were made of the key decisions and selections.
ADOPTED
The meeting finally adopted the Skipjack Tuna Management Procedure, following days of deliberations.
Outgoing chair Ms Jungre Riley Kim’s announcement were met with applauses.
She paid tribute to the spirit of goodwill and consensus by the members, in her closing remarks.
“I thank everyone for the effort put in and for the consensus reached on this key issue,” she said.
Conservation plan for sharks, discussions on climate change effect, monitoring of high seas fishing and the Pacific Albacore continues into 2023, with important steps now agreed to.
Selections
The members were also unanimous in the selection of the new Chair and Vice Chair last night.
Dr Josie Tamate of Niue, previously the Vice Chair, was unanimously selected as Chair.
She becomes the 3rd consecutive female Chair, following Ms Riley and Ms Rhea Morris Christian, the newly elected Executive Director who had served as Chair from 2017.
Japan’s Mr Fukuda Takumi was unanimously selected as Vice Chair.
PEWS response

The Pew Charitable Trusts today praised the WCPFC’s adoption of the modernized management plan for the Pacific skipjack tuna fishery, which makes up one-third of the world’s tuna catch.

However, Pew also called the decision to make this science-based plan non-binding “disheartening.”

With the move, WCPFC joins other major tuna RFMOs in shifting toward this modernized, science-based management. These RFMOs include the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, which adopted a management procedure for bigeye tuna in May, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which adopted a management procedure for the iconic Atlantic bluefin tuna last month.

However, implementation of the management procedure will not be binding, PEW stated.

Glen Holmes, an officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ international fisheries project, said this after the meeting.

“By adopting a management procedure for skipjack tuna, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has demonstrated a commitment to a sustainable future for this important species,” he said.

“While it is a step in the right direction, it is disheartening that members have not made the agreement binding. This could render the management procedure ineffectual and allow protracted and potentially politicized negotiations that leave the long-term health of the species at risk to continue.

“To optimize management of this stock and ensure a stable supply for the market, members must revisit this decision and agree to realize the full benefit of the management procedure as soon as possible.

“The skipjack tuna population is at a healthy level, but it has become more depleted over time. The management procedure adopted today has been tested many times by scientists to account for uncertainty that could affect the skipjack fishery now and in the future. This testing has demonstrated that the management procedure will be effective in conserving the stock for the people and industries that rely on it.

“Although the WCPFC management procedure is not mandatory for countries to implement immediately, its adoption signals a significant turning point for its fisheries. A global shift is underway, as four of the five tuna RFMOs have moved some commercially significant stocks to this management method.”

* Coverage of the 19th WCPFC meeting was made possible with funding from the Forum Fisheries Agency and its partners

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *