6th Regular Session of the Commission, Papeete, French Polynesia - Press Release 1st December 2009

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) will hold its sixth regular session (WCPFC6) at Papeete, French Polynesia from 7-11 December 2009. Chaired by Ambassador Satya Nandan (Fiji), and hosted by the Governments of France and French Polynesia, WCPFC6 is expected to involve approximately 350 delegates from the Commission membership and observers.

Since its inception in 2005, the WCPFC has adopted several measures to manage and conserve the tuna stocks of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), the most recent being its December 2008 decision to reduce the catch of bigeye tuna by one-third by the end of 2011. Also since 2005 the WCPFC has adopted measures to mitigate the catch of sharks, seabirds, sea-turtles and non-target species of fish taken incidentally by authorized vessels fishing in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

The WCPFC6 meeting will review these measures and discuss proposed measures on transhipment verification, charter arrangements, vessels without nationality, protection of data buoys, port monitoring, Pacific bluefin tuna and north Pacific albacore tuna. Also scheduled for discussion are reports from the Commission’s subsidiary bodies – Scientific Committee, Technical and Compliance Committee, Northern Committee, and Finance and Administration Committee – and applications for Cooperating Non-Member status in the Commission from Belize, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Mexico, Senegal and Vietnam.

The outcomes of WCPFC6 will have far-reaching implications for the Pacific and Pacific Rim members of the WCPFC as either resource owners or resource harvesters. Against a background of increasing international concern about reported declines in global tuna harvests and expanding fishing fleets, WCPFC6 delegates will be under significant pressure to reach decisions that rise above national self-interest and underpin the long-term sustainability of WCPO tuna stocks.

News Item Updated 22 Jan, 2010
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