FFA takes comprehensive agenda to WCPFC16 including call for more action on climate change

Wed 4 Dec 2019

Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Members have developed a comprehensive list of priorities for the 16th meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which opens in Port Moresby tomorrow, 5 December 2019.

Forum Fisheries Committee Chair, Eugene Pangelinan of the Federated States of Micronesia, commended FFA Members for their strong commitment and solidarity in preparing for WCPFC16, before listing the priorities for FFA Members which include progress on target reference points for key tuna stocks, tightening up monitoring of transshipment on the high seas, improving the process for reviewing compliance with measures, and making progress on high seas limits and management of longline fisheries.

A central plank of FFA’s advocacy this year will be climate change.

FFA Director General, Manu Tupou-Roosen said FFA Members are calling on the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to take stronger action on climate change.

“Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and the impact on Pacific Island countries is particularly threatening, given that tuna fisheries provide significant economic, social and cultural benefits,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said.

“FFA is asking for increased attention by Commission scientists on the implications of climate change for the regions tuna stocks and consideration of what Conservation and Management Measures can be put in place to reduce the carbon footprint of both Commission activities and fishing in Pacific waters managed by the Commission. Our Members are proposing a resolution on Climate Change.”

Enhanced consultation between the WCPFC and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is also a key agenda item for FFA this year.

Mr Pangelinan said that FFA would be pushing in Port Moresby for Commission members to consult more comprehensively with SIDS when proposing new measures.

“Unfortunately, some measures have been presented to the Commission with inadequate assessments of the potential impacts on SIDS. For example, any measure that has significant implementation requirements should be informed by direct consultation with small island developing states.”

Mr Pangelinan and Dr Tupou-Roosen concluded by expressing thanks on behalf of FFA to Papua New Guinea for hosting this year’s Commission meeting.

Further details about key issues for FFA Members at WCPFC16 are in the attached Media Backgrounder. Media enquiries: Mr Tevita Tupou - +675 7333 9945

PDF icon FFA Media Release #1 - WCPFC16-only.pdf468.37 KB