Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC): no progress on conservation of tropical tunas

Source: DG MARE, EC

Measures for enhanced monitoring are a step in the right direction, but, overall, the 8th plenary session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) falls short in guaranteeing sustainable exploitation of tuna stocks: the European Commission will continue to work for the adoption of stronger conservation at the next WCPFC plenary session.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) held its 8th plenary session from 26 till 31 March in Guam. The European Commission is disappointed that no new Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for tropical tunas were agreed, despite the WCPFC Scientific Committee’s requests for stronger measures. Instead, the WCPFC decided to carry over the previous measures’ provisions till the next plenary session scheduled for December 2012. However, the WCPFC accepted two EU proposals. Firstly, the Western High Sees pockets will be re-opened with a special management of Philippines fishery (limitation in number of vessels), which will decrease pressure on spawning grounds in the Coastal States’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Secondly, the monitoring system will be strengthened, with observers on all purse seiners, including those fishing only in EEZs.

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