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.
NEWS:

Purse Seine Fishery Closure on the High Seas in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean

NOAA Fisheries announces the U.S. purse seine fishery on the high seas in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean between the latitudes of 20 N. and 20 S. will close as a result of reaching the 2018 purse seine fishing effort limit in that area. The closure will be in effect from 00:00 on September 18, 2018 coordinated universal time (UTC), through the rest of the calendar year.

View the regulatory action details for more information about the temporary rule announcing the closure and the compliance guide.


Effective Date of Daily Purse Seine Fishing Effort Reporting Requirement in the Final Rule to Implement Recent Decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

NOAA Fisheries announces approval by the Office of Management and Budget of a collection-of-information requirement contained in regulations implementing recent decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, in a final rule published on July 18, 2018. The intent of this final rule is to inform the public of the effectiveness of the collection-of-information requirement associated with daily purse seine fishing effort reports included in the final rule. The reporting requirement is effective on August 30, 2018, but purse seine vessel owners and operators must report purse fishing effort daily only if and when directed by NOAA Fisheries.

View the Regulatory action details for more information about the final rule and the collection-of-information.


Notice of public meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to Advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

On August 23, 2018, NOAA Fisheries announced a meeting of the Permanent Advisory Committee to advise the U.S. Commissioners to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), to be held in on October 11-12, 2018, in Honolulu, HI. Read the meeting notice for details.


Notice of intent to prepare and environmental impact statement for the U.S. purse seine fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean

NOAA Fisheries publishes a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for future management actions for the U.S. purse seine fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean. This notice represents the beginning of the public scoping process and invites interested parties to provide comments on alternatives to be considered in an EIS and to identify potential issues, concerns, and any reasonable additional alternatives that should be considered. The comment deadline has been extended. Comments must be submitted by October 31, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET.

View the Regulatory action details for more information on the notice of intent and opportunity to comment.