International Fisheries Division

The International Fisheries Division (IFD) is responsible, on behalf of NOAA and together with other government agencies, for negotiating and implementing the provisions of international fisheries agreements for the western and central Pacific Ocean.

The need for international cooperation in fisheries management in the WCPO is driven by the highly migratory nature of many of the targeted and bycatch species and the exploitation of common resources outside areas of national jurisdiction, on the high seas.  Highly migratory species (HMS), such as tuna and billfish, have a wide geographic distribution, both on the high seas and inside the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of many nations, creating the need for close cooperation between countries across the Pacific.
Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) play a critical role in the global system of fisheries governance. They are the primary way to achieve cooperation among fishing nations, which is essential for the conservation and effective management of tuna and tuna-like stocks that cross national boundaries. Through these organizations, the International Fisheries Division aims to promote international cooperation to achieve effective and responsible marine stewardship and ensure sustainable fisheries management globally. Domestic management is guided by our efforts and participation in these regional fisheries management organizations.

The following RFMOs apply to waters in the Pacific Ocean:

Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOS)

Boundaries and Fishery Map

*Click on map for larger view

This map shows the boundaries of the various regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in the Pacific Ocean. The WCPFC is located in the western and central Pacific, the IATTC is located in the eastern Pacific with an area of overlap between the them. SPRFMO is located in the southern Pacific and the NPFC is in the northern Pacific. The map also shows the EEZs of countries located in and around the Pacific Ocean.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Area of Overlap Between the Convention Areas of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

NOAA Fisheries publishes an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to seek public input about management of U.S. fishing vessels in the area of overlapping jurisdiction between the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Comments must be submitted by July 12, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET.

Read more about the management measures for fishing vessels that target tuna and other highly migratory fish species in the area of overlapping jurisdiction on