Opening ceremony of the 13th WCPFC Annual Meeting in Denarau, Fiji, 5 Dec 2016.
Progress on compliance-related outcomes from WCPFC13
The Secretariat Compliance team has commenced preparations for the
implementation of the Compliance Monitoring Scheme measure implementation in 2017.
The Fiji Commission meeting
approved a list of conservation and management measures (CMMs) and an updated list of obligations to be reviewed by the Scheme in 2016-18. The Secretariat will be duly considering this list in its preparation of the online Annual Report Part 2 and Compliance Monitoring Reporting facility. An e-compilation of the complete list of currently in force CMMs can be accessed from this link [http://www.wcpfc.int/conservation-and-management-measures ].
The Annual Report Part 2 online facility for submitting activity reports and updates of new compliance cases in the online facility are intended to be available during March 2017. Members, Participating Territories and Cooperating Non-Members (CCMs) will be advised of their availability in due course and can use the similar login details provided last year
Content for the Annual Report Part 2 is due by Saturday, 1 July 2017. Those that
need further assistance, please contact our Compliance Manager, Dr Lara Manarangi-Trott (email@example.com) or Assistant Compliance Manager, ‘Ana F. Taholo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The 2017 version of the hard copy booklet containing CMMs relevant to observers' work will be prepared and distributed to the various Regional Observer Programmes as may be requested. Those needing assistance to contact the ROP Coordinator, Karl Staisch (email@example.com).
The VMS team will soon be issuing a 2017 version of the form to guide CCMs when submitting their vessel tracking activation information for the WCPFC Vessel Monitoring
Scheme (Mobile Telecommunication Tracking (MTU) details). This can be accessed from this link: [http://www.wcpfc.int/vessel-monitoring-system]. Those needing
contact our VMS Manager, Albert Carlot (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition to routine Scheme implementation matters, during the intersessional period the Secretariat will be facilitating arrangements during the period prior to 13th Regular Sessionof the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC13) for:-
1. The development and adoption of guidelines to enable the participation of NGO observers at closed meetings of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies. The Commission agreed to complete this work in time for the guidelines to be used at TCC13 (2017);
2. The appointment of Reviewers who will undertake the Review of the Compliance Monitoring Scheme, and will attend TCC13;
3. The signing of the two Memorandum of Cooperation with the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) on the Exchange and Release of Data, and on the Endorsement of WCPFC ROP Observers for observing transshipments of southern Bluefin tuna on the high seas;
4. Including provision in the updated Cooperating Non-Member (CNM) request template/form for indicating interest in becoming a member of the Commission; and
5. Completing the necessary in-house work
to deliver some online publishing lists as requested by TCC.
WCPFC Executive Director, Feleti P Teo and New Zealand's Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Matua Shane Jones signing agreement establishing Western Pacific East Asia Improved Tuna Monitoring project in Denarau, Fiji, 5 Dec 2016.
Funding provided by NZ for WPEA-ITM
During the Annual meeting held in Fiji, WCPFC’s Executive Director Feleti Teo and New Zealand Ambassador Shane Jones signed an agreement to establish the Western Pacific East Asia Improved Tuna Monitoring project (WPEA-ITM). The $4,912,052 NZD ($3,527,300 USD) will run from 2017 to 2022 and work to improve monitoring and management of tuna catches in
Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam and contribute to reduced illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The NZ funding will complement the existing Western Pacific and East Asian Seas project currently being funded by the United Nations Global Environment Fund. The Secretariat is currently in the process of recruiting a project manager who will oversee this work.
Intersessional work on the Special Requirements Fund
At the annual meeting it was agreed that a virtual inter-sessional working group would be established to review current guidelines for the Special Requirements Fund (SRF). This group will look at the SRF’s scope of use, prioritization, allocation authority, securing of funding at an appropriate level, and transparency of operation.
The results of the working group will be presented to the 11th Session of the Finance & Administration Committee with a view to submitting a proposal to the 14th Regular Session of WCPFC for its consideration. The Secretariat will be sending a circular to Members to initiate
WCPFC Executive Director, Feleti P Teo and Regional Observer Programme Coordinator, Karl Staisch with participants of WCPFC/Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission in Pohnpei, 3 Feb 2017.
IATTC/WCPFC CROSS ENDORSEMENT Training Completed in Pohnpei
WCPFC/IATTC “Cross Endorsement” training was held at our headquarters, between 30th Jan – 3rd Feb 2017. The course was conducted by IATTC observer manager and trainer Ernesto Altamirano and Enrique Ureña, and was assisted by our ROP Coordinator, Karl Staisch and Data Quality Officer, Donald David.
Trainees from Cook Islands, Federated States
of Micronesia, Fiji, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Solomon Islands attended the course, which was funded by WCPFC. The IATTC and WCPFC is grateful for the repeat year supplementary support provided by FFA to enable additional participants to attend this and last year's course.
The IATTC Cross Endorsement course was held to certify experienced “WCPFC Regional Observer Programme” (ROP) purse seine observers that are employed in one of the many ROP authorised programmes of the WCPFC. The certification is to allow ROP observers to continue their observer duties on a vessel that might decide to fish in the Convention Areas of WCPFC and IATTC on the same trip.
Both organizations have as a minimum standard of 100% observer coverage rate on purse seine
vessels. Prior to this arrangement a purse seine vessel intending to fish in WCPFC and IATTC waters of the Pacific Ocean during the same trip would have had to carry two observers: one from WCPFC and one from IATTC. In 2011 a “Memorandum of Cooperation” was signed by both Regional Fisheries Management Organizations that allowed observers from each organization to be trained to carry out observer duties on the high seas of both Convention Areas.
Training consisted of WCPFC ROP observer being provided guidance on the use of the IATTC forms and reporting protocols that are required when an authorized purse seine vessel is fishing in the IATTC Convention area. The ROP observers would also continue to report in the format that is currently used in the WCPFC waters for the whole trip.
17 observers at this training session will join the 54 observers previously trained from ROP observer programmes of Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Forum Fisheries Agency, as IATTC cross endorsed ROP observers. Those needing further information to contact contact our ROP Coordinator, Karl Staisch (email@example.com)
The WCPFC Scientific Committee (SC) continues to successfully support the Commission’s work, where the scientific services provider (the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community) plays a key role. The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Billfish in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) also assists the work of the Commission by providing the status and conservation advice for northern stocks (North Pacific Albacore, Pacific Bluefin and North Pacific Swordfish).
The Commission meeting in Fiji adopted the 12th Session of the Scientific Committee Report, and recognising the critical importance of tagging data for stock assessment and
harvest strategy evaluation work, has committed to a considerable increase in support for the Pacific Tuna Tagging Project. Key scientific services in 2017 include data analysis and three stock assessments for Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) bigeye and yellowfin tuna and south Pacific swordfish. The 13th Regular Session of the Scientific Committee (SC13) will provide stock status and management advice for bigeye and yellowfin tuna to assist the development of tropical tuna measures.
The Commission is progressing a harvest strategy framework for the WCPO fisheries. SC13 will review science-related issues on target reference points for south Pacific albacore, candidate harvest control rules based on agreed reference points, and a range of performance indicators to evaluate
performance of harvest control rules in the Updated Harvest Strategy Work Plan.
With regard to ecosystem and bycatch issues, SC13 will consider data gaps, revised ROP minimum data standards and fields, and safe release guidelines for Manta and Mobula rays; the outcomes of Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) Management Options Working Group meetings; and seabird and sea turtle mitigation issues.
The Secretariat continues to administer and implement several projects, including Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), Japan Trust Fund (JTF), European Union (EU), and West Pacific East Asia (WPEA) projects. The government of New Zealand is providing funding support to develop harvest
strategies and management strategy evaluation framework by the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community (SPC-OFP) and to extend WPEA activities in the East Asian Seas.
Upcoming meeting information and announcements include:
· 20-21 April: workshop on analysis of CPUE for stock assessments in Noumea, New Caledonia
· 24-27 April: Preparatory workshop for 2017 stock assessments in Noumea
· 24-28 April: Eleventh Tuna Data Workshop in Noumea
· 12-17 July: ISC 17 Plenary, Vancouver, Canada
· 9-17 August: WCPFC SC13 Meeting, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Members are reminded of the deadlines:
· 30 April: provision of 2016 scientific data to the WCPFC
· 10 July: Submission of Annual Report – Part I
The Secretariat has announced an opportunity to conduct a project to identify appropriate limit reference points for elasmobranchs within the WCPFC: http://www.wcpfc.int/vacancies-opportunities
Scientific working papers produced by SPC-OFP for WCPFC13 are listed below:
a. Biologically reasonable rebuilding timeframes for bigeye tuna WCPFC13
b. Biological and economic consequences of alternative trajectories to achieve a candidate south Pacific albacore target reference point http://www.wcpfc.int/node/28442
c. Performance indicators and monitoring strategies for skipjack and
south Pacific albacore commensurate with: Candidate management objectives for the tropical purse seine and southern longline fisheries http://www.wcpfc.int/node/28441
d. Evaluation of CMM 2015-01 for bigeye tuna