Tuna RFMO Compliance Assessment Processes: A Comparative Analysis to Identify Best Practices
Each of the five international regional fisheries management organizations responsible for highly migratory species (“tuna RFMOs”) has an annual mechanism to monitor and assess the compliance of members, and in some cases cooperating non-members (CNMs), with their obligations under the RFMO convention and its conservation and management measures.
This technical report — updated in April 2021 — examines each of these tuna RFMO compliance mechanisms with respect to the range of obligations and commitments that are assessed, the current operational conditions of each compliance assessment process, what tools are available to respond to instances of non-compliance, and the public availability of information about the level of compliance of RFMO members or CNMs and their actions to address areas of identified non-compliance.
This report also considers whether RFMO compliance assessment processes incentivize improvement in member compliance and in the performance of the RFMO as an institution. It also explores other aspects of designing or ensuring an effective RFMO compliance assessment system. In the final section, a set of best practices for monitoring, assessing, and addressing non-compliance in RFMOs is identified.