The Pacific Community and Korean stakeholders join forces to enhance WCPFC scientific projects

The Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Pacific Community (SPC) recently embarked on a trip to Korea to meet with fisheries management, science, enforcement, and industry stakeholders. The purpose of the visit was to enhance collaboration and progress key WCPFC scientific projects. The visit was timely, given Korea's ongoing financial contribution to the Pacific Tuna Tagging Project (Project 42) and the recent commencement of the WCPFC project improving coverage of cannery receipt data (Project 114).

During the visit, the SPC team had conversations with Korean industry partners in collaboration with WCPFC colleagues from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), in Seoul. Representatives from Dongwon, Sajo, and Shilla Industries, alongside Korean Overseas Fisheries Association (KOFA) staff, were present. The discussions were fruitful, with both sides gaining a greater understanding of the aims of the WCPFC projects and their inherent challenges, as well as the Commission's work on harvest strategies. The best approach to assist the WCPFC scientific work is under development, and both parties agreed to continue communications with each other.

During the visit, Korean and SPC representatives shared their thoughts on the collaboration and its potential benefits. IlKang Na from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) said, "The visit was an excellent opportunity to exchange knowledge and perspectives on WCPFC projects, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the SPC team." SungKwon Soh, from the WCPFC Secretariat, added, "The Korean stakeholders' contributions to the Pacific Tuna Tagging Project and other WCPFC initiatives are invaluable, and we are grateful for their ongoing support."

The team also visited the Dongwon F&B canning facility in Changwon, where they were hosted by Mr. Sang-bum Lee of Dongwon Industries and gained valuable insights into the canning process.

In Busan, the SPC team met with Director Sung-su Lim and colleagues at the Korean Fisheries Monitoring Centre (KFMC), who demonstrated their impressive tools and work in both fisheries surveillance and electronic reporting and monitoring. The team also discussed KFMC’s plans to develop its tools using the latest technologies.

Finally, the team met with President Dong-sik Woo and his team at the National Institute of Fisheries Science in Busan. They discussed data submission structure and protocols, tuna tag recovery processes, as well as stock assessment and harvest strategies. The tuna team at the Distant Water Fisheries Resources Division were very helpful in identifying ways to improve their contributions to the Commission's work through possible collaboration with SPC.

Graham Pilling, the Director of SPC's Oceanic Fisheries Programme, said, "This visit enhanced collaboration with our Korean partners, and we look forward to exploring new avenues of cooperation in the future." Aurelie Guillou, a scientist at SPC, added, "The discussions with Korean industry partners were particularly useful in gaining a better understanding of their perspectives on WCPFC projects and identifying areas where we can work together more closely."

The collaboration between SPC and Korea is an excellent example of how different stakeholders can work together to progress scientific projects that benefit everyone involved. Korea's ongoing financial contribution to the work of Project 42 is vital to its success, while the recent commencement of Project 114 will improve the data available to inform management decision making. The SPC team's visit to Korea will undoubtedly strengthen collaboration between the two parties.

For more information: Contact Aaron Nighswander, the Finance & Administration Manager at or

Toky Rasoloarimanana, Communications Officer for the Pacific Community Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystem Division – – Mob: +687 899394

News Item Updated 27 Apr, 2023
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