Offshore Fisheries | WWF


 
	© ©naturepl.com Jeff Rotman WWF
Did you know that almost 70% of the world’s annual tuna catch comes from the Pacific and around 58% comes from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean?
The Offshore Fisheries component of WWF Pacific’s Sustainable Fisheries and Seafood Programme is an advocacy, awareness, research and policy input initiative that involves working with our global WWF network and national, regional and international partner organisations and governments to improve the health and management of tuna fisheries in the Pacific Islands region with focus on Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
 
WWF Pacific’s offshore fisheries work revolves around:

Advocacy and Awareness
A large part of offshore fisheries’ work is advocating changes to national, regional and international legislation to effectively change the way the fishing operates. We also operate to improve awareness. There is a growing global demand for sustainably caught fish and in doing so the associated challenges and how Pacific Island Countries are affected politically, environmentally and economically.

Fisheries Certification
Although the Pacific Ocean is considered to be the last frontier of healthy tuna stocks, decline of Atlantic and Mediterranean tuna stock populations and increasing global demand for tuna has increased pressure on the Pacific region. WWF Pacific is working proactively to promote sustainable tuna fisheries management to protect Pacific stocks from the same outcome.

Tuna Bycatch

Tuna fisheries also catch a number of non-target species, known as bycatch. Bycatch of highly endangered marine species such as turtles, sharks and sea birds are common in the Pacific. WWF Pacific is continuously working to reduce bycatch through policy and adopting more sustainable fishing practices. 

PROJECTS

Developing Sustainable and Responsible Tuna Longline Fisheries in Fiji Project

What is it About & Who are Involved: A Fiji offshore fisheries project that is facilitated by WWF Pacific in partnership with the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji Fishing Industry Association and the Fiji Maritime Academy.
Start Date: July 2018
Duration: 3 Years
Donors: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) & WWF NZ
Target Country: Fiji
Area of Focus: Marine Stewardship Council Certification, Bycatch Mitigation and Mutli-Stakeholder Partnerships. The project seeks to contribute to the improvement of offshore fisheries management and encourage processes that will lead towards a sustainable seafood sourcing environment in Fiji.
Goal: Activities of the project is to enhance economic returns by improving the sustainability of tuna fisheries within and beyond the EEZ of Fiji.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPF Commission)

Established in 2004 following a six-year negotiation of the WCPF Convention.

WCPF Convention is an international fisheries agreement that seeks to ensure through effective management the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks (i.e. tunas, billfish, marlin) in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

WCPF Comission’s members provided 54% of the world’s tuna catch in 2007.

The area covered by the Convention covers almost 20 per cent of the Earth’s surface.

There are currently 32 member nations and terrotiories, located in the Pacific Islands as well as distant water fishing nations (DWFNs).

Over half of WCPF Commission members are also members of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), a regional voting bloc comprised of Pacific members.

FACTBOX

    • IUU fishing in Pacific fisheries is valued between US$517m to US$740m.
    • Worth US$4 billion a year to the Pacific economy
    • Fisheries make up 80% of export in the Pacific