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Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

The Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Program (ABNJ) – often referred to as Common Oceans – is a broad-scale, innovative approach to achieve efficient and sustainable management of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in marine areas that do not fall under the responsibility of any one country.


  • Sustainable management of tuna fisheries & biodiversity conservation
  • Sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation of deep-sea living marine resources & ecosystems
  • Ocean Partnerships for sustainable fisheries and biodiversity conservation
  • Strengthening global capacity to effectively manage ABNJ

Latest Documents

Tuna and Tuna-like Fishes of the Bay of Bengal
Category: Oceans Partnership
Type of document: Communication material
This poster was prepared by BOBP-IGO under the Common Oceans Ocean Partenership Project. 
Flyer: Testing the use of EMS to combat IUU fishing - Results from activities in Ghana and Fiji
Category: Tuna & Biodiversity
Type of document: Communication material
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing is a serious threat to sustainable fisheries, marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of legitimate fishers globally. To address this threat, the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project is exploring new ways to strengthen and harmonize the use of monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) tools, and combat IUU fishing in tuna fisheries across the marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). One of the MCS tools that the Project has explored extensively, is the use of Electronic Monitoring Systems (EMS) to monitor individual vessel operations at sea. To test the best way to incorporate this new monitoring technology to the MCS toolbox available, two pilot activities were set up in Fiji and Ghana were EMS equipment was deployed aboard tuna fishing vessels. In summary, results and experiences have demonstrated that the transfer of new technologies can be done effectively when there is consideration of the context in which the new technology will be deployed. This includes the strengthening of the national institutions involved, establishing key partnerships, developing the required legal frameworks, and building the human resources necessary for the effective operation of the new technology. 
Ghana EMS Business Case Report
Category: Tuna & Biodiversity
Type of document: Reports
The Government of Ghana, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) have formed a partnership under the Common Oceans Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Tuna Project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by FAO to pilot Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) technologies in Ghana.  The objective of this study is to support a business case for EMS in the Ghanaian fleet, including options for financin a permanent implementation of the system. 

Upcoming Events

Nov 12
12 November 2018 - 19 November 2018 Croatia
Nov 28
28 November 2018 - 28 November 2018 Webinar
Nov 29
29 November 2018 - 29 November 2018 Webinar
Dec 05
05 December 2018 - 05 December 2018 Webinar


United Nations Environment Programme
The World Bank
World Wide Fund For Nature
Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Conservation International