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


NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations for the advisory committee established under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act. The Permanent Advisory Committee, composed of individuals from groups concerned with the fisheries covered by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention, will be given the opportunity to provide input to the United States Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission regarding the deliberations and decisions of the Commission. Nominations must be received no later than March 2, 2015. For more information please view the Federal Register notice here.

NOAA Fisheries publishes a final rule to implement restrictions on the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in purse seine fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean for 2015. View the final rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here. The final rule is effective January 1, 2015. A copy of the Compliance guide for this final rule is available here.

NOAA Fisheries publishes a proposed rule to implement fishing restrictions on oceanic whitetip sharks, whale sharks, and silky sharks. View the proposed rule in the Federal Register and supporting documentation here.