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Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

Tuna Compliance Network meets to review compliance information management systems

22 February 2018

Honiara, Solomon Islands 15-18 February 2018 – Members of the Tuna Compliance Network (TCN) travelled to Honiara, Solomon Islands, for the 2nd Workshop of the Network, held at the headquarters of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

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Participants at the workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands © TCN

The Core Group of the TCN, which comprises the officers responsible for compliance of the five tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs), met for the first time with the information management personnel from each of these RFMOs, in addition to their counterparts from other regional organizations: the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the FFA, the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), and the South Pacific Community (SPC). Over four days, experts discussed best practices in information management for compliance purposes – a high priority for TCN members.

The TCN was launched in March 2017 (inception workshop) in collaboration with the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network (IMCSN), and with support from the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project. The Network's aim is to facilitate communication and cooperation between officers responsible for compliance in the tuna RFMOs. While it is focused on tuna fisheries, the Network also promotes the involvement of other relevant experts in fisheries compliance and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS), in order to share best practice compliance processes, and ultimately, to contribute to reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

At the workshop, participants exchanged information on each organization's current information systems and discussed opportunities for their enhancement.  Participants recognized that tuna RFMOs and other similar regional organizations have a high number of reporting requirements, and that these translate into large quantities of information that need to be collected, compiled, analyzed and reported on as efficiently as possible. Participants acknowledged that it is important to streamline the management of this information to assist each Secretariat to better support the monitoring of compliance with RFMO obligations as is envisaged under respective compliance monitoring schemes and procedures.

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Susie Iball, elected chair © TCN

"We have learned about information systems and tools that could help us do our work more efficiently," said Susie Iball, the newly elected Chair of the TCN and Compliance Manager at the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). "Greater collaboration in the development and use of these systems could benefit both RFMO Member States and RFMO Secretariats in the future", she added.

Members of the TCN agreed to continue their cooperation during 2018 and to explore opportunities for continuing the TCN activities beyond the end of 2018.  Subject to funding, a 3rd Workshop of the TCN is proposed in the first quarter of 2019.

The five tuna RFMOs involved in the network are: Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT); Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC); International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT); Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC); and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

This workshop was convened as part of a broader support strategy by the FAO Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project aimed at strengthening MCS efforts in world tuna fisheries by developing tools to assist in the fight against IUU fishing. The Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and harnesses the efforts of a large and diverse array of partners, including the five tuna RFMOs.

Report of the workshop is available here.

Learn more about the TCN here, and for further information, please contact:

The Gef Common Oceans
International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Network for Fisheries-related Activities