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News :: SPRFMO strengthens commitment to sustainability with measures on Jack Mackerel and bottom fishing

SPRFMO strengthens commitment to sustainability with measures on Jack Mackerel and bottom fishing

(04/02/2014) At its second annual meeting, held from 27 to 31 January 2014 in Manta, Ecuador, the Commission of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) adopted a series of important conservation and enforcement measures which show its commitment to sustainable fisheries in the region.

The European Commission welcomes the clear progress made by SPRFMO in giving itself the tools it needs to become a fully operational management organisation.

Following scientific advice, binding measures on Jack Mackerel were adopted to set a global catch quota of 440,000t for the Convention and Exclusive Economic Zone area. This should allow for a further recovery of the stock which has for the first year shown signs of improvement. Although the stock remains overfished, no overfishing occurred in 2013. In addition, SPRFMO adopted a rebuilding plan for the jack mackerel stock in the southeast Pacific, based on an EU proposal.

A conservation measure to regulate bottom fishing introducing clear rules for the sustainable management of stocks and protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems was agreed. A conservation measure for minimising by-catch of seabirds by both long liners and trawlers was also adopted. As suggested by the EU, SPRFMO also agreed to improve data reporting requirements on sharks in the future.
 
The adoption of minimum standards on Port State Measures and on the establishment of a Vessel Monitoring Scheme, both proposed by the EU, will also greatly improve the capacity of the organisation to strengthen its monitoring and compliance capacity.

Finally, with the appointment of Johanne Fisher as the new Executive Secretary the sound management of the SPRFMO Secretariat will be ensured in view of her previous experience in the Secretariat at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation.

Background

The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation is an inter-governmental organisation committed to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources of the South Pacific Ocean.

The Organisation consists of a Commission and a number of subsidiary bodies.  The members of the Commission are: Australia, Belize, Republic of Chile, People's Republic of China, Cook Islands, Republic of Cuba, European Union, Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Chinese Taipei and the Republic of Vanuatu.

The EU member states with fishing interests in the area are Poland, the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania.