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FFA Countries Want Eastern High Sea Pockets Closed To Tuna Fishing Pacific Island Nations, November 5, 13

Member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) completed a week of intensive preparation meetings ahead of key negotiations to take place during the WCPFC meeting.

The 87th Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) met in Honiara, FFA members prepare for the 10th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, from 1-6 December in Cairns, Australia.
The 17 Pacific island nations, who all have a rich tuna resource in their waters, formally reviewed and agreed on draft tuna management proposals and a range of negotiating positions for Pacific nations to adopt at the WCPFC meeting.
The following topics were discussed and agreed on :
Disproportionate Burden—members discussed the issues around understanding the implications and costs of disproportionate burden from WCPFC CMMs for SIDS and other developing states and noted it as a key theme in discussions on the Tropical Tuna management measures.
Tropical Tuna – members considered a range of issues and multiple ideas on how to frame the new Tropical Tuna Conservation and management measure and several members agreed to support the proposal prepared jointly by the Federated States of Micronesia, Japan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tokelau and Tuvalu.
Sharks — members developed a new shark Conservation and Management Measure designed to reduce shark mortality rates.
Eastern High Seas Pocket (E-HSP) – members developed a new Conservation and Management measure that will close the E-HSP (between the EEZs of Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Kiribati) to all forms of tuna fishing, as directed by Forum Fisheries Committee Ministers in July this year.
Port State Measures – members developed a new Conservation and Management Measure for Port State Measures aimed at helping the region combat Illegal, Underreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
South Pacific Albacore – members continued work towards a new management measure that will place controls over the fishery to prevent further expansion in EEZs and the high seas.
Daily Catch and Effort Reporting - members developed a new Conservation and Management Measure which proposes specific requirements to report operational data on a daily basis.
Compliance Monitoring Scheme - members considered a range of issues related to the Scheme in order to increase the effectiveness with which the Commission can assess whether members are implementing the measures that they agree to.