Influence and interest: a snapshot of the Western and Central Pacific tropical tuna fisheries

31 Jan 2012

There are 89 States and territories that have some form of current or historical interest in the tropical tuna fisheries (i.e., bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack) of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).
However, only 14 of them ultimately control access to the most productive fishing grounds and the vessels that fish in them. All but one of these States are full members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), and all have some form of vested interest in the long-term sustainability of some part of the tropical tuna fisheries. This paper studies the mix of interests in the WCPO tropical tuna fisheries.
These interests are likely to influence each delegation’s national interest and drive negotiating positions to support or oppose certain measures, depending upon how they affect that State’s interests. Given the complex nature of the WCPO tuna fisheries and their conservation challenges, it is important to understand these interests and consider how States might compromise their interests in an equitable manner that allows for the adoption of a new conservation and management measure for tropical tuna.

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