Implementing the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Public Deposited

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  • In September 2000, the Convention for the Conservation and Management of the Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Central and Western Pacific (WCPFC) was concluded by the seventh session of the Multilateral High Level Conference (MHLC). The WCPFC, amongst other things, establishes a tuna Commission, which will have powers to impose limits on, catch and effort, and impose conservation and management measures for the tuna stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) region. The principal objective of the WCPFC is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the highly migratory fish stocks in the WCPO. The paper describes the problems associated with managing the tuna fisheries in the WCPO. Upon its entry into force, the WCPFC will potentially bring high seas fishing in the region under control. The WCPFC builds on the principles of the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA). It elaborates on the principles of conservation and management to be applied in both areas under national jurisdiction and on the high seas. Fundamentally, it entrenches the principle in the UNFSA that members of a regional fisheries management organisation can board vessels belonging to other States who are also members on the high seas. It transforms the customary rule of international fisheries law that only the flag State can enforce fisheries conservation and management measures on the high seas. The WCPFC provides a framework for fisheries cooperation between member countries of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, and the distant water fishing nations operating in the region. The paper describes the principal features of the WCPFC, which include an innovative legally binding decision-making regime and steps being taken to prepare for the implementation of the Convention.
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  • Opnai, L. Joel, Les Clark, Transform Aqorau. 2002. Implementing the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Peer Review: No. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, August 19-22, 2002, Wellington, New Zealand: Fisheries in the Global Economy. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2002. CD ROM.
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