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Moving towards a Rights-Based Fisheries Management Regime for the Tuna Fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The 2000 Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPF Convention) establishes a Commission which will be responsible for setting catch limits and effort controls for the fishery. The Convention will require the Pacific Island States to impose some form of catch limits and this presents them with the opportunity to explore ways to enhance the fisheries regimes they manage. This paper explores the legal issues surrounding a possible rights-based regime, both as a collective approach by the Pacific Island States, and individually. The paper suggests possible legal approaches to the introduction of a rights-based fisheries management regime, drawing on ways in which they may structure their fisheries legislation, and on experiences from other regions. The paper concludes by examining the implications for the Pacific Island States of such an approach.

Affiliations: 1: Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency; Centre for Maritime Policy, University of Wollongong


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