Da Nang, VIETNAM (November 29): The adoption of a Management Procedure for skipjack
tuna, and progressing various elements of Harvest Strategies for the key tuna stocks will be key
focuses of the Tuna Commission (WCPFC19) meeting here in Vietnam, Chairlady Riley Kim told
And she told the meeting during her opening speech here at the Royal Lotus Hotel Convention
Centre that member countries should not be complacent about the healthy status of tuna stocks
in the region.
“The Commission has been successful in managing the tropical tuna through its core
conservation and management measure, which we call the “bridging measure” over the last
several years,” she said.
“With the skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye tuna stocks being in healthy statuses according to the
most recent stock assessments, the bridge seems to be robust and strong.
“However, we can’t keep staying on the bridge and will eventually need to cross it to get to the
point we actually intend to reach,” she warned.
Chairlady Riley told the 19 th Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC19) that
although the commission has Harvest Strategy Workplan, there is still a lot of work to see the
members live up to this Plan.
“While the Plan is being implemented, the Commission has very important decisions to make
next year to revise or come up with a new tropical tuna measure that outlines the hard limits for
purse seine effort or catch and longline limits and their allocation. WCPFC 19 will have an
opportunity to discuss next steps so that the Commission can fulfil its commitment envisaged in
CMM 2021-01,” she said.
“We also have a number of issues to address regarding the Compliance Monitoring Scheme
and review the work of various intersessional working groups including the Risk Based
Management Framework and Compliance Audit Points.
“The WCPFC boasts one of the most advanced compliance monitoring schemes in Regional
Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), and I hope that WCPFC19 will make further
progress to make the system even stronger.”
Chairlady Riley said she also wanted the resumption of the review of compliance monitoring
report in 2023 not to leave any unmanageable gap in compliance monitoring.
On the Monitoring, control and surveillance.(MCS) of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU)
fishing she said there will be an opportunity for the meeting to drive the progress in
transshipment management discussions.
The Commission will also consider the improvement of ecosystem management, including
sharks and seabirds.
Chairlady Riley stated another critical issue that the Commission will need to deal with is labor
She said it was the responsibility of the Commission and its members to deal with issues
directly affecting labor.
“The lines between the mandates of RFMOs and other organizations are blurring, and we no
longer afford to say it is not our responsibility to deal with issues that are not directly related to
fishery resource management, because indeed, fisheries impacts are inextricably linked with
issues involving the people and environments,” she said.
“We will need to push our boundaries to address over-arching issues such as labor standards.”
Labor issues include pay and safety issues on board fishing vessels.
She also highlighted the need for the Commission to consider climate change and how that is
affecting tuna fisheries in the region.That is an area that is now also received funding from the
Green Climate Fund, directed to the Pacific Community (SPC), who will take the lead role in
implementing a Tuna Fisheries Early Warning System and project.
“These issues will also include climate change as well, which is likely to hit small island
developing states the hardest if left unmanaged. Time is mature for incorporating climate
change considerations into the work of the Commission,” she stated.
“Delegates, the workload in front of us is quite overwhelming. This year, we are fortunate
enough to have an in-person meeting, which means we can have off-line discussions to
progress with important considerations. I hope that our outcomes document will contain a
number of agreements and achievements that we can all be proud of.”
The meeting continued today with discussions on skipjack tuna and South Pacific Albacore