This document provides a model National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (NPOA-IUU) for a Pacific Island country (PIC). The Plan has been developed in accordance with the 2001 FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2001.
Protection of the marine ecosystem is a key issue for the PIC in its bid to ensure food security. All fishing activities that degrade the marine environment and that threaten the health of fish stocks in the PIC and the wider Pacific Islands region is a threat to the health and livelihood of the PIC people and to the supply of fish, particularly tuna, available to the outside world.
Coastal marine resources as well as the deepwater snapper and grouper stocks are already under stress from legitimate fishers and so the additional impact on resources by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishers will be catastrophic.
The PIC is conscious that the Pacific Islands region's tropical tuna resources are in a generally healthy state and that these resources contribute significantly to the world's supply of tuna. Along with partner small island developing States (SIDS) in the region, the PIC is concerned to ensure the long-term sustainability of these resources both for food security purposes and because the PIC is seeking to derive long-term economic benefit from the exploitation of tunas. The domestic tuna industry has expanded significantly in recent years and has the prospect for further expansion. Currently, fresh and frozen tunas make up approximately 25 percent of total export earnings. In future, domestic demand for tuna will increase as coastal fishery resources become fully exploited.
IUU fishing on tuna and associated species is a threat to food and economic security as the PIC seeks to develop a sustainable and viable tuna fishing and processing industry.
The PIC has limited fisheries management resources and relies to some extent on regional and bilateral cooperation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The PIC is committed to further developing its management capacity and to working with partner States, both in the region and internationally, to ensure the conservation and long-term sustainable use of fish stocks and the protection of the environment.
Since the PIC has adopted fisheries management initiatives developed regionally and has enacted new legislation that incorporates principles contained in the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, to a large extent, this document is a record of actions already underway. There are, however, a number of matters to be considered for further action and these are listed at the end of the document. The PIC will review the NPOA-IUU on an ongoing basis and will submit revisions to FAO, as required.