The Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is in urgent need of fishing capacity reduction and effective controls on fishing effort. Both aspects – capacity and effort limitations – need to work together and parties should recognise they are not mutually exclusive. Some stocks of great importance continue to be managed unsustainably, namely bigeye tuna, yellowfin and Pacific bluefin tuna, with southern albacore fisheries becoming uneconomical as stocks decline. Many shark populations are seriously depleted, or stock levels are extremely uncertain, and they need to be put on the road to recovery.
In summary, Greenpeace urges parties to the WCPFC to collaborate in order to set the foundations for a sustainable future for WCPO tuna fisheries, namely by:
- agreeing an immediate cap on new built longline and purse vessels in the region by developed parties and a clear time-bound plan to assess and eliminate overcapacity using environmental and social criteria;
- putting in place an effort management system which works regionally and includes all gears and waters;
- adopting precautionary and ecosystem-based target and limit reference points for all major tuna and billfish species;
- closing the loopholes in the fight against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing starting by banning at sea transshipments by all vessels including longliners.
Greenpeace briefing to WCPFC 10