Oceanic Fisheries Management Project

Catching tuna on boat

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has initiated a third Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (OFMP3).

The aim of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (OFMP3) is to use ecosystem approaches to ensure the sustainable management of the living marine resources of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission area.

This includes the ongoing protection of stocks (populations) of tuna and other highly migratory oceanic animals while still allowing fishing. This is so populations remain sustainable environmentally and economically.

The project is being implemented for the benefit of the Governments of Pacific small island developing states (SIDS):

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

The Oceanic Fisheries Management Project 3 (OFMP3) will:

Mainstream climate change and ecosystem-based approaches into the sustainable management of the living marine resources of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

OFMP3 has three objectives for the WCPFC’s ecosystem and its living marine resources:

Improving and strengthening management strategies and mechanisms

Strengthening and expanding the scientific knowledge base to support improved understanding and management

Capacity-building and training for improved management

Regional, sub-regional and national actions for better fishing practices

The Oceanic Fisheries Management Project:

  • Supports Pacific SIDS as the major bloc at the WCPFC to adopt regional conservation and management measures.
  • Supports innovative approaches being developed by Pacific SIDS at a sub-regional level, as they collaborate in fisheries of common interest.
  • Assists SIDS to apply measures in their own waters and to their fleet.
  • Improves stakeholder participation, including industry participation, in oceanic fisheries management processes, and improves understanding and awareness generally of the challenges and opportunities facing Pacific SIDS in fisheries management.
Catching tuna on boat

OFMP3 has four technical components and seven target outcomes:

Proactive and adaptive ecosystem-based approach to regional fisheries management
  • Maintained 100% sustainability of all four WCP tuna stocks representing some 3 million tonnes of annual catch.
  • Improved capacity and expertise for overall fisheries management at both the national and regional level as well as expanded opportunities for Pacific SIDS engagement in fisheries markets.
Innovative technology supporting the adaptive ecosystem-based approach to regional fisheries management
  • Improved monitoring of catch, bycatch and movement of catch (transhipping, landing and marketing), Monitoring, Compliance and Surveillance (MCS) and data analysis aiming to further reduce Illegal, Unreported and IUU fishing below the current already low 6.5% (measured level as of latest year, 2019).
  • Increased management, monitoring and control of fish aggregating devices (FADs) to optimise returns from target stocks and reduce bycatch and other ecological impacts.
A regional strategy for improved community subsistence and resilience to climate change effects on the ecology and fisheries of the region
  • Strengthened data capture, modelling and assessment feeding into management responses to climate-induced impacts on fisheries and marine ecosystems.
  • New strategies in place to respond to socioeconomic changes and food security issues related to climate change (i.e. improving community subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries)
Knowledge Management and Sharing
  • Adaptive and sustainable ecosystem-based management of fisheries and associated natural resources responding to climate change impacts and focusing on the benefit to the Pacific Island Countries.

Read about how OFMP evolved in the Pacific Tuna Story, which began in 2000.