High Seas Boarding & Inspection

WCPFC3 adopted the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Boarding and Inspection Procedures (40.1 KB).

Notifications that are required in accordance with CMM 2006-08 to be submitted by Members to the Commission, can be sent to the Secretariat to email: HighSeasBoardingInspection@wcpfc.int

A link to access summary statistics on inspections conducted pursuant to CMM 2006-08 is provided here: HSBI Summary Statistics 

WCPFC4 endorsed several specifications related to high seas boarding and inspection procedures, including :

1. WCPFC Inspection Flag and Pennant

Paragraph 18 of the Procedures provides that “Authorized inspection vessels shall fly, in clearly visible fashion, the WCPFC inspection flag as designed by the Commission.”The below design was approved by WCPFC4.  

At WCPFC17, the Commission agreed that the minimum pennant size for use by the boarding vessel, transiting from the inspection vessel, be 44 centimeters (cm) by 66 cm (height by length).   Inspection flag usage and display for the inspection vessel itself would not change from what was agreed at WCPFC4. This decision only updates information on pennant dimensions contained in Attachment G, Annex 2 of TCC3 that was adopted at WCPFC4.

The intended use of the flag is for inspection vessels, and the pennant for boarding launches.  The assigned number for an inspection vessel should be included in a contrasting colour to the lower right quadrant of the flag and upper right quadrant of the pennant.   








2. WCPFC High Seas Boarding and Inspection Register

(includes photographs of individual inspection vessels)

Paragraph 12 of the Procedures requires the Commission to “maintain a register of all authorized inspection vessels and authorities or inspectors” (the WCPFC High Seas Boarding and Inspection Register). This paragraph also stipulates that, “only vessels and authorities or inspectors listed on the Commission’s Register are authorized under the Procedures to board and inspect foreign flagged fishing vessels on the high seas within the Convention Area”.  

At present, the only Members with authorised inspection vessels listed on the WCPFC High Seas Boarding and Inspection Register are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • France
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Republic of Korea
  • New Zealand 
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Tuvalu
  • United States of America

In respect of the Register, WCPFC3 agreed that “boarding and inspection operations pursuant to the Procedures would be authorized to begin 60 days after the circulation to CCMs by the Executive Director of the register of authorized inspection vessels in accordance with paragraph 17 of the Procedures” (para.155 of the WCPFC3 Summary Report).

Paragraph 13 of the Procedures provides that Contracting Parties:
(a)with respect to each inspection vessel they assign to boarding and inspection activities under the procedures, provide details of the vessel (name, description, photograph, registration number, port of registry (and, if different from the port of registry, port marked on the vessel hull), international radio call sign and communication capability);

Link to access: Register of Inspection Vessels

3. Authorities of the Inspection Vessel

Paragraph 13 of the Procedures provides that Contracting Parties:
(b)with respect to inspectors they assign pursuant to the procedures, provide the names of the authorities responsible for boarding and inspection.

Link to access: Authorities of the Inspection Vessel

4. Notifications by Members regarding arrangements under paragraph 6 of CMM 2006-08 (Fishing Entity)

Paragraph 6 of CMM-2006-08 states, “Unless otherwise decided by the Commission, these procedures shall also apply in their entirety as between a Contracting Party and a Fishing Entity, subject to a notification to that effect to the Commission from the Contracting Party concerned.”

Symbol Title Files Date of Issuesort descending
New Zealand Notification file attachment (194.85 KB) 1 Aug 2008
Chinese Taipei Notification - New Zealand file attachment (87.28 KB) 23 Oct 2008
Cook Islands Notification file attachment (501.14 KB) 21 Nov 2008
Chinese Taipei reply to acknowledge Cook Is notification file attachment (23.7 KB) 10 Dec 2008
United States of America Notification file attachment (65.92 KB) 12 Aug 2009
Chinese Taipei - USA file attachment (430.3 KB) 24 Aug 2009
Japan Notification file attachment (34.32 KB) 27 Oct 2009
Chinese Taipei - Japan file attachment (28.37 KB) 23 Nov 2009
France Notification Regarding Chinese Taipei file attachment (112.46 KB) 5 Dec 2009
Australian Notification file attachment (400.47 KB) 29 Sep 2010
Chinese Taipei - Australia file attachment (992.82 KB) 29 Sep 2010
Canada Notification file attachment (16.07 KB) 13 Jun 2023
Chinese Taipei - Canada file attachment (351.82 KB) 16 Jun 2023

5. Authorities of the Fishing Vessel

To promote effective high seas boarding and inspection, there is a need for all CCMs that have authorized their fishing vessels to fish in the WCPFC Convention Area beyond areas of national jurisdiction, to provide to the WCPFC Secretariat for circulation the name and contact of their respective “Authorities”. This will ensure that should their vessels be boarded, there is a listed “Authority” for the boarding CCM to contact.

Link to access: Authorities of the Fishing Vessel

6. Standardized Multi-Language Questionnaire (in languages used in CCMs’ respective fisheries)

Paragraph 21 of the Procedures provides that: “In carrying out boarding and inspection pursuant to these procedures, the authorized inspection vessel and authorized inspectors shall make their best efforts to communicate with the master of the fishing vessels in a language that the master can understand. If necessary to facilitate communications between the inspectors and the master of the vessel, the inspectors shall use the relevant part of the standardized multilanguage questionnaire to be prepared by the Secretariat and circulated to all Contracting Parties with authorized inspection vessels.”  CCMs have responsibility for translating the questionnaire into their language(s) used by their vessels so that it is accessible by Members conducting inspections.  

7. Annual Reporting Requirements (para 40 and 41 of CMM 2006-08)

CCMs are to report in Annual Report Part 2:

  •  a summary of the HSBI activities by their authorised inspection vessels of other CCMs flagged vessels, including violations detected; and
  • the outcomes of any investigations into the activities of their vessels  or proceedings against their vessels as a result of HSBI activities conducted by other CCMs

Relevant CCMs might find this link to access summary statistics on inspections conducted pursuant to CMM 2006-08 helpful to refer to when preparing such reports: HSBI Summary Statistics 

Authorised CCM users are also able to access a list of vessels that have previously been inspected under the WCPFC HSBI Scheme.  Once an authorised CCM user has logged in, please use this link here

 8. Sample Inspection Personnel ID Cards

Paragraph 19 of the Procedures provides that “Authorized inspectors shall carry an approved identity card identifying the inspector as authorized to carry out boarding and inspection procedures under the auspices of the Commission and in accordance with these procedures.”

Members have been encouraged to transmit to the WCPFC Secretariat for compiling and posting on the WCPFC website samples of their respective inspection personnel identity cards.

Symbol Title Files Date of Issuesort descending
France ID Sample file attachment (23.29 KB)
USA ID Sample file attachment (21.22 KB) 4 Dec 2009
Chinese Taipei ID Sample file attachment (187.05 KB) 4 Dec 2009
New Zealand Fisheries Officers Warrant ID file attachment (34.89 KB) 5 Jun 2013
Korea ID Sample file attachment (422.94 KB) 24 Apr 2014
Australia ID Sample file attachment (299.31 KB) 26 Jun 2020
Japan ID Sample file attachment (1.68 MB) 26 Apr 2023
Canada ID Sample file attachment (414.8 KB) 27 May 2023
Cook Islands ID Sample file attachment (180.33 KB) 9 Dec 2023
China ID Sample file attachment (283.48 KB) 2 May 2024




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