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South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO)
New: Adoption of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean in Auckland, New Zealand on 14 November 2009. Information is available on the SPRFMO website
The gap that existed in the international conservation and management of non-highly migratory fisheries and protection of biodiversity in the marine environment in high seas areas of the South Pacific Ocean has been closed with the adoption of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the High Seas Fishery Resources of the South Pacific Ocean (map).
Non-highly migratory fisheries in the area covered by the Convention are mainly discrete high seas stocks, although some stocks straddle the high seas and the EEZs of coastal states.
Australia, Chile and New Zealand initiated a process for states to cooperate in addressing this gap in the international conservation and management framework through the establishment of a new regional fisheries management organization. The United States participated in the international meetings on the establishment of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO). The PIR International Program provides technical support for U.S. participation lead by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Marine Conservation.
The new RFMO will be established and operates consistent with international law including: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) , the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks 1995 (UNFSA ), and best practice.
Geographically, other RFMOs, including the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) cover parts of this region, however, their mandates extend only to highly migratory species. Fisheries that could be covered by the SPRFMO are predominantly discrete high seas stocks and those stocks which straddle the high seas and the EEZs of coastal states. These fisheries are both pelagic and demersal (living at or near the bottom of the ocean).
Signatories to the Convention include Australia, Chile, China, Colombia, the Cook Islands, the European Union, the Faroe Islands, New Zealand, and Peru. Relevant international and regional fisheries organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and industry groups are invited to participate as observers in negotiations of the RFMO.
The third preparatory conference meeting is to be held in Chile, in January/February 2011.
Location and Contact Information
New Zealand is currently acting as the interim secretariat. This role includes acting as the central coordination point for enquiries and distribution of information. For information or inquiries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about U.S. participation please email.