Electronic Reporting


In 2014 the Commission commenced considering the application of E-reporting and E-monitoring for fisheries monitoring.  An E-Monitoring and E-reporting workshop at FFA Headquarters (Honiara, Solomon Islands) was held in 31 March – 1 April 2014 to discuss the potential for electronic reporting and electronic monitoring in the WCPO and to consider next steps for progressing these initiatives.  The workshop noted that a key risk for the Commission is the lack of documented policies and standards for these technologies.  The benefits of standardised reporting formats for data exchange were articulated in the consultant’s paper, WCPFC10-2013-16_rev1. Potential benefits identified at the time included but were not limited to:

  1. timely and enhanced data management;
  2. facilitating data exchange between the Secretariat, CCMs, and regional bodies;
  3. efficiently managing the increasing amounts of data received by the Secretariat; and
  4. giving effect to t-RFMO recommendations on data harmonisation.

The potential risks of not having agreed WCPFC data standards included poor data coordination, increased data storage and transmission complexities, higher data security risk and increased long-term costs to the Commission and CCMs.

At WCPFC11 (December 2014) the Commission agreed that a priority task should be the development of draft standards, specifications and procedures for the use of electronic reporting and electronic monitoring technologies in WCPFC fisheries.  To facilitate the development of these standards, specifications and procedures the electronic reporting and electronic monitoring working group (ERandEMWG) was established (Terms of Reference). 

There have been three meetings of the ERandEMWG to date:

WCPFC E-reporting standards

The culmination of the first two ERandEMWG meetings was the adoption in December 2016 of “The Standards, Specifications and Procedures for Electronic Reporting” (E-reporting SSPs), this was adopted by the Commission in the form of a general decision to which other forms of E-reporting standards, once agreed would be included over time.  In December 2016, the Commission approved the inclusion into the E-reporting SSPs of the E-reporting standards for operational catch and effort data  and in December 2018 the E-reporting standards for observer data were approved for inclusion.  

Irrespective of the effective date, it should be noted that the various E-reporting standards are voluntary, until the Commission takes a decision that says the E-reporting standards are mandatory (refer E-reporting SSPs paragraph 3)

In December 2018, the Commission took two decisions with relevance to the E-reporting standards:

  1. The Commission agreed with respect to maintaining adopted standards, matters of substance (such as major changes or new proposals) shall be considered in a manner consistent with already established processes for new proposals. The Secretariat shall administer minor changes to the SSPs that reflect decisions of the Commission by circulating a draft to all CCMs advising that the change had been made and would come into effect on a date at least consistent with that in the SSPs. CCMs shall be provided the opportunity to raise concerns and if so, the change becomes a matter of substance and will be handled as such. (WCPFC15 Summary Report paragraph 405)
  2. The Commission adopted the E-Reporting Standards for high seas transhipment declarations and transhipment notices
Notes on the decisions by the Commission on the standards, specifications and procedures for Electronic Reporting (E-reporting SSPs)
Version WCPFC decision reference Description of updates Effective date Link to ER standards
1.0 WCPFC15 Summary Report, Attachment S For adoption of E-Reporting Standards for high seas transhipment notices and declarations 14 June 2019 ER Standards for high seas Transhipment
2.0 WCPFC14 Summary Report, Attachment T For adoption of E-Reporting Standards for observer data 9 June 2018 ER Standards for observer data and logbooks
1.0 WCPFC13 Summary Report, Attachment T For adoption of E-Reporting Standards for operational level catch and effort data 9 June 2017 ER Standards for observer data and logbooks

WCPFC E-reporting system at the Secretariat

The Secretariat has developed a specific IT system to support E-reporting.  Currently the WCPFC E-reporting system can receive E-reported data as per the WCPFC high seas transhipment declaration and notices E-reporting standards.  An application that WCPFC has developed to support CCMs implementation of the E-reporting Standards for high seas transhipment declarations and transhipment notices is provided here.

Past reports on E-reporting SSPs

Paragraph 7(c) of the E-reporting SSPs  tasks the Secretariat to “report annually on the performance of the Electronic reporting standards and their application, and as necessary, make recommendation for improvements or modifications."  Copies of past reports are provided below...

Symbol Title Files Date of Issuesort descending
WCPFC-TCC14-2018-RP10 Annual Report on the Performance of the E-reporting Standards
Secretariat and SPC-OFP
file attachment (336.96 KB) 31 Aug 2018
Page Updated 8 Aug, 2019
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