Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is a treaty-based organisation. It was established to conserve and manage tuna and other highly migratory fish stocks across the western and central areas of the Pacific Ocean and commenced operations in late 2005. Its full name is Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The secretariat of WCPFC is based in Pohnpei, in the northern Pacific state of the Federated States of Micronesia.
It was established by the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, which entered into force in 2004. The WCPF Convention is the second regional fisheries management agreement negotiated since the conclusion of the 1995 U.N. Straddling Fish Stocks Agreement.
The WCPF Convention was built on the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and set out to address the specific characteristics of the western and central Pacific Ocean. It established a framework for the participation of fishing entities which legally binds them to the provisions of the Convention. Territories and possessions can participate in the work of the Commission, which is also mandated to cooperate with fisheries in other regions if the area of competence overlaps with WCPFC.
The current chairman of the commission is Dr Charles Karnella of the USA. He succeeds Satya Nandan from Fiji, who was also the first Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, and who himself succeeded the first Chairman, Professor Glenn Hurry, former CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority. The secretariat for the commission is located in Kolonia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia in a building funded by the Chinese government. The Commission held its ninth regular session in December 2012, in Manila, Philippines.
In December 2014 at the 11th regular session of the WCPFC in Apia, Samoa, Feleti Teo was appointed the Executive Director of the Commission. Teo as previously served as Attorney General of Tuvalu, Director General of the Forum Fishery Agency, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and in 2008 he had been the acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
In June 2015 the fisheries ministers of the countries that are parties to the Nauru Agreement met in Palikir, Pohnpei, under the chairmanship of Elisala Pita of Tuvalu, who stated that in 2015 Tuvalu has refused to sell fishing days to certain nations and fleets that have blocked Tuvaluan initiatives to develop and sustain their own fishery. Elisala Pita also said that Tuvalu was disappointed with the outcomes of recent meetings of the WCPFC as some fishing nations had tried to avoid their responsibilities and commitment to sustainable fishing.
Membership of the Commission is open to the States that participated in negotiating the 2004 Convention. The only negotiating States that have not yet taken up the opportunity to become contracting parties are Indonesia, and the United Kingdom on behalf of Pitcairn. Indonesia has however agreed to abide by the measures of the Commission by becoming a Cooperating Non-Member. The contracting parties to the Convention, by consensus, may invite States or regional economic integration organizations that wish to fish for highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific to accede to the Convention. This approach restricts access, emphasizing that the initiative to accede lies with existing parties, not with new applicants.
- Participating territories
- Cooperating non-members
- Contribution from the Secretariat of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Review Conference on the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (New York, 22 to 26 May 2006). On the website of the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea.
- WCPFC. "WCPFC Website". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Pareti, Samisoni (3 December 2014). "Tuvalu ‘son’ secures top WCPFC job". Island Business. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- "Tuvalu refuses to sell fishing days". The Fijian Times Online (PNA/PACNEWS). 13 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Tuvalu to stop selling fishing days to nations". The National. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
- Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission – Official web site
- Mahon, R and McConney, PA (2004) Management of large pelagic fisheries in CARICOM Countries FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 464.