International Fisheries:

South Pacific Tuna Treaty (SPTT)

Treaty on Fisheries Between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America

Les Hata, ©SPC

The South Pacific Tuna Treaty entered into force in 1988, with an initial 5 year agreement, to set operational terms and conditions for the U.S. tuna purse seine fleet to fish in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), including waters under the jurisdiction of the Pacific Island Parties to the Treaty. The Treaty was extended in 1993, and again in 2002, when the parties agreed to amend and extend the Treaty and to extend the related Economic Assistance Agreement between the United States and the members of the Pacific Islands Forum, as represented by the Forum Fisheries Agency, for a term of 10 years. In May of 2013, representatives from the United States and the Pacific Island Parties agreed to extend the Economic Assistance Agreement for another 10 years, and signed an interim arrangement to extend the Treaty until December 31, 2014. In October 2013 an interim arrangement was again signed, and the Treaty extended until December 31, 2015. The Treaty continues to be under negotiation to be amended and extended.

The South Pacific Tuna Treaty is viewed as a model of international and fishery cooperation and has helped establish fisheries observer and data reporting requirements as well as monitoring, control and surveillance standards for the region’s fisheries, all of which are vital to deterring illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.


Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia , Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States, and Vanuatu.


Click here for a map of the treaty area.

United States Administration

United States operational, administrative, and enforcement commitments under the SPTT are carried out by the NMFS. These responsibilities are implemented by the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator, located in Honolulu, Hawaii and by staff in Honolulu and Pago Pago, American Samoa.


For questions about U.S. participation please email us.