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WCPFC 2023

These are the outcomes from the 20th regular meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission on 3-8 December 2023.


Incorporating Climate Change considerations into conservation and management measures of WCPO fisheries and ecosystems

Recognizing the Sustainable Development Goal and the particularly negative impacts of Climate Change on Small Island Developing States and Territories. The Marshall Islands and the US will develop a workplan including engagement with other RFMOs and FAO.
submitted by FFA, USA, Taiwan, EU
Posted on 20 December 2023

Harvest Strategy Development for SP Albacore, Skipjack, Yellowfin, Bigeye, NP Albacore and Pacific Bluefin tunas

The Commission established a Harvest Strategy for key fisheries and stocks (Skipjack, Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna) in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and a Work Plan to guide the development of key components.
Commented, and amended by various member states: FFA, PNA + Tokelau, Korea, American Samoa, USA, Indonesia, American Samoa, South Pacific Group CCMs, Australia, Philippines
Posted on 20 December 2023

Revision South Pacific Albacore management procedure

Agreement on a revised interim target reference point (iTRP) for South Pacific Albacore for 2024 or 2025 with the possible modification of the operating model.
submitted by South Pacific Group and Australia
Amended various
Posted on 20 December 2023

North Pacific Albacore Harvest Strategy

For the purpose of completing the North Pacific albacore tuna harvest strategy, target reference points are established.
submitted by Northern Committee
Posted on 20 December 2023

Revision conservation and management measure for Pacific bluefin tuna

Small changes in management measure updating the harvest strategy for PBFT.
submitted by Northern Committee
Amended: Tokelau
Posted on 20 December 2023

Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna management procedures

The Commission amended its harvest strategy workplan to delay by one year the adoption of management procedures for bigeye and yellowfin tunas.
submitted by PNA, FFA
Postponed by consensus
Posted on 20 December 2023

Restriction for purse effort on Skipjack, Yellowfin and Bigeye

Restriction purse seine effort within the EEZs in accordance with the effort limits established and notified.
submitted by chair
Amended by FFA, PNA, Korea
Posted on 20 December 2023

Excluding fisheries of not exceeding level

CMMs shall take necessary measures to ensure that the total catch of their respective other commercial tuna fisheries for bigeye, yellowfin, or skipjack tuna.
submitted by Chair
Amended Indonesia
Posted on 20 December 2023

Allocation framework development in 2026

Agreed on a process to develop an allocation framework for purse seiner and longline bigeye fisheries in 2026, to enable agreement on hard effort or catch limits in the high seas.
submitted by Chair
Posted on 20 December 2023

Revise management of observer coverage purse seiner and longline fisheries

Scheme of increasing observer coverage for longline fleets that want to increase their bigeye tuna catch limit. Japan and Korea support the initial proposal.
submitted by PNA + Tokelau, Korea
Amended by various, Philippines

Biodegradable FADs from 2026 on

USA proposal starting in 2026 a transition to biodegradable FADs was blocked. Now the decision on the requirements to do so will be taken no later than 2026.
submitted by US, PNA + Tokelau
Postponed by consensus.
Posted on 20 December 2023

Non obligatory retrieval of FADs and debris

Encouragement for flag vessels to responsibly manage the number of drifting FADs deployed and , retrieve and report on lost drifting FADs
submitted by Chair, proposals by French Polynesia Tokelau, PNA, FFA, FAD small working group
Posted on 20 December 2023

Review maximum drifting FADs deployment

No later than 2026 review the effectiveness of the limit on the current limit of 350 of FADs deployed and provide advice on the monitoring of activated instrumented buoys.
submitted by PNA and FFA
Posted on 20 December 2023

Observers on board and data confidentiality

The CCMs are encouraged to provide the data gathered by the observers in such a manner that protects the ownership and confidentiality of the data.
Posted on 20 December 2023

Research on Bigeye and Yellowfin juvenile catch

CCMs and the Commission are encouraged to conduct and promote research to identify ways for purse seine vessels to minimize the mortality of juvenile bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna, particularly in accordance with any research plans adopted by the Commission.
Posted on 20 December 2023

Capacity management of purse seiner and longliners

New specified vessels constructed or purchased shall replace a previous vessel, have a carrying capacity or well volume no larger than the vessel(s) being replaced, or shall not increase the catch or effort.
submitted by Chair
Posted on 20 December 2023

Number of freezing and ice-chilled longliners stable

CCMs shall not increase the number of their freezing and ice-chilled longline vessels targeting bigeye tuna.
Posted on 20 December 2023

At sea transhipment monitoring and management

The Commission was unable to agree on a revised measure to improve transshipment management and requested recommendations for further revisions for meeting in 2024, including for observer coverage and electronic monitoring.
submitted by Transhipment Working Group-chair
rejected by Japan and Korea
Posted on 20 December 2023

Data provision and confidentially

Operational level catch and effort data except for artisanal small-scale vessels shall be provided and the Commission shall ensure the confidentiality of those data provided as non-public.
Posted on 20 December 2023

Reduce Catch North Pacific Striped marlin

The Commission will wait potential revisions of the existing conservation and management measure on the outcome of the peer review in 2024.
submitted by Northern Committee
Postponed by consensus
Posted on 20 December 2023

Conservation and management measure for north pacific swordfish

submitted by Northern Committee
Amended by various
Posted on 20 December 2023

Endorsement Silky shark stock assessment

The Commission endorsed that in 2024 an integrated assessment for silky shark be attempted.
Posted on 20 December 2023

Endorse scientific recommendation on delay shark measures

Endorsing the scientific recommendation that it would be more effective to postpone the review of the shark conservation and management measure to 2027 limited information.
submitted by Scientific Committee
Posted on 20 December 2023

Need for Sea Turtle guideline noted

submitted by Chair
Posted on 20 December 2023