Need More Positive Agreement for a better Tuna Fisheries in Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO)

December 31, 2015

Indonesia is known to be the biggest archipelagoes that have a special connection with tuna fisheries. Tuna are one of the most known local diets in many regions, and have important role to achieve the country’s total fisheries production. Given Indonesia variations in tuna industries, and well-established export market, it is no wonder that Indonesia play an important role in the global market of tuna production.

AP2HI have recently travelled to Bali in early December for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting to learn more about international issues in tuna stocks that Indonesia depends on. This annual meeting gathered and brings together scientist from WCPFC to discuss and give updates on the latest issues in fisheries science to develop new advice for policymakers.

After eight days of reports and discussion meeting, the policymakers had agreed on several proposal recommendations. These recommendations make up the best-available science information, and should play a key role in future decisions about fisheries management in Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).

The latest recommendations that have been agreed will affect the tuna fisheries in Indonesia. One of those latest recommendations is agreeing on Target Reference Point (TRP) for Skipjack Tuna within the area of WCPO (the limit reference point had been adopted by the Commission). In the end, the Commission also adopted a conservation measure that will sets out a two year work plan with time frames in developing harvest strategies for skipjack, bigeye, yellowfin, south Pacific albacore, Pacific Bluefin and northern Pacific albacore tunas. Although some of the fish species is not overfished, this recommendation played a great role in controlling this tuna stock species in the years to come for the benefit of coastal communities throughout the region.

Overall, AP2HI recognizes the challenges faced by fisheries managers in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Therefore, the association will work with diverse of stakeholders in the future to encourage for better adoption of management improvements at the next Commission meeting. Based on the discussions in Bali, it is safe to say that that skipjack are still not considered overfished and still need to push other agreements that have not been agreed yet in this year meeting for a better benefit of coastal communities throughout the members of WCPFC.

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