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Tuna Fisheries Management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean: A Critical Analysis of the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central I Pacific Ocean and Its Implications for the Pacific Island States

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The conclusion of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement in 1995 provided the impetus for changes to international fisheries law. The western and central Pacific region provides at least 60 per cent of the world's supply of raw tuna. Since 1994, efforts have been ongoing to develop a comprehensive conservation and management regime there. On 5 September, 2000, the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean was concluded and signed. It represents a new threshold in international tuna management as it builds on the principles in the Fish Stocks Agreement. The article analyses the implications of the Convention for the Pacific Island States and what it will mean for tuna management in the region. The Convention is an instrument that will empower the Pacific Island States to harness the resource in a way that enhances their sovereign rights. However, the article points out that the Convention is also threatening because fishing states might want to use it to weaken the control Pacific Island States now have over the tuna resource. The article concludes that the Convention increases the economic opportunities to benefit from the tuna resource and clarifies the legal rights over the resource.

Affiliations: 1: South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, Honiara, Solomon Islands


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