FAO-organized workshop discusses mainstreaming climate change into international fisheries governance.
The WCPFC Secretariat participated in a recent workshop on “Mainstreaming climate change into international fisheries governance – the case of Regional Fisheries Bodies in the Indo-Pacific region” conducted from 17 – 20 October 2023 in Chennai, India. The workshop aimed to encourage collaboration among Indo-Pacific Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs) in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and other fisheries issues. The activity was officially opened by India’s Union Minister of Fisheries, Parshottam Rupala, where he noted that the Indo-Pacific Ocean region is a shared responsibility of all countries, making it a sustainable habitat for all living creatures.
Climate change significantly alters the distribution of shared (straddling, transboundary, and highly migratory) marine fish stocks worldwide. Recent studies predict that by the end of this century, nearly half of the shared marine fish stocks will have relocated, and a vast majority of the world's exclusive economic zones (EEZs) will witness at least one such shift. This relocation of marine fish stocks challenges the existing fisheries management framework. Understanding how climate change affects shared fish stocks is crucial for robust, climate-resilient international fisheries governance.
The Assistant Science Manager at WCPFC, Ms. Elaine G. Garvilles, presented information on WCPFC activities, strategies, and initiatives in response to climate change, good practices, and lessons learned, and possible opportunities for enhanced integration of climate change into the WCPFC work, including identifying gaps and other challenges. There was a plenary discussion among all workshop participants, to consolidate a list of good practices, lessons learned, entry points and opportunities, gaps, and challenges that are most relevant to RFBs in the Indo-Pacific region. The outcomes of the workshop will serve as a living document to guide future activities of RFBs related to climate change.
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The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is one of five global tuna regional fisheries management organizations, responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks, particularly tuna, in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Established in 2004, the WCPFC comprises 34 member countries and territories, and seven cooperating-non-members dedicated to promoting the sustainable management of the world’s largest tuna fishery. The WCPFC Secretariat is headquartered in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.