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Press releases and News :: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) falls short of EU expectations for the conservation of tropical tunas

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) falls short of EU expectations for the conservation of tropical tunas

(06/12/2013) The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) held its 10th plenary session from 2 to 6 December 2013 in Cairns, Australia.

The European Commission is disappointed by the lack of ambition of the new Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for tropical tunas agreed, despite the announced objective of reducing overfishing for bigeye tuna.
As compared to the current measure, the new measure introduces new provisions such as  limits on the use of FAD sets as well as on fishing days on the High Seas. However the Commission considers that more drastic reduction of effort of purse seiners and of longliners would have been necessary to reduce bigeye tuna fishing to sustainable levels.

The EU also regrets that the measure on South Pacific Albacore and Pacific Bluefin Tuna could not be strengthened. These two stocks have been facing heavy and increasing fishing pressures in recent years.

Nevertheless, the WCPFC adopted, upon an EU proposal, a measure for the conservation of silky sharks, a species in a poor state in the Western pacific according to the scientists. Another proposal of the EU to fight against shark finning obliging fishermen to keep shark fins naturally attached on board their vessels did not gather the necessary support for adoption.

The WCPFC agreed on additional measures to strengthen the Register of fishing vessels, to oblige certain vessels to have a Unique Vessel Identifier (UVI), to improve the recording and reporting of fishing operations data, and to take into account the situation of the Small Island Developing States and Territories (SIDS). The Compliance Monitoring Scheme, still under development, was renewed for one year and made more transparent.

More information

WCPFC members are: Australia, China, Canada, Cook Islands, European Union, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Republic of Marshall

WCPFC website