Common Oceans Tuna Project 2022-2027 - Update

FAO (2023) Common Oceans Tuna Project 2022-2027 - Update. In: WCPFC Commission Meeting - 20th Regular Session. WCPFC20-2023-OP03, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

The Project “Sustainable Management of Tuna Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction” is a continuation of an earlier project (2014-2019) with the same name (“ABNJ Tuna Project”). The Project objective is to achieve responsible, efficient, and sustainable tuna production and biodiversity conservation in the ABNJ in face of a changing environment. This is a GEFfunded project, implemented by FAO and executed by the IOTC through a Project Management Unit. The Common Oceans Tuna Project aims to promote more responsible and sustainable tuna fishing. It works to ensure that all major tuna stocks are fished at sustainable levels, that compliance with management measures is improved and to preserve biodiversity by reducing negative impacts caused by tuna fisheries on marine ecosystems. In the coming years, the Common Oceans Tuna Project will step up efforts to support further reductions in catches from stocks that are subject to overfishing, including tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) fishing, while enhancing the contribution to biodiversity conservation. The project consists in three components aiming at addressing key issues in tuna fisheries:

1. Improve tuna fisheries management.
Ensure that all major tuna stocks are fished at sustainable levels advancing the use of harvest strategies. Promote the ecosystem approach to fisheries management in tuna regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). Promote sustainable fishing practices with incentives such as better market conditions for sustainably sourced fishery products.

2. Tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing Make enforcement of fisheries regulations more efficient with training in monitoring, control and surveillance. Improve compliance with fishing regulations by promoting innovative tools like electronic monitoring and traceability systems.

3. Reduce impacts of tuna fisheries on the environment Decrease bycatch by improved monitoring of catches of sharks, rays, cetaceans and seabirds and promoting best practices in bycatch mitigation techniques and alternative gear. Lower environmental impacts by advocating the adoption of ocean-friendly fishing devices.