The North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) works to ensure that high-seas fishing for Pacific chub mackerel, Pacific saury, two squid species, and other stocks across the north Pacific Ocean is legal, transparent, and sustainable. The Pew Charitable Trusts shares those goals and will for the first time attend the Commission’s annual meeting, July 11-18 in Tokyo, as a formal observer.
Pew’s international fisheries work spans the globe and includes advocacy with regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and related bodies. These efforts center on promoting science-based fisheries management, modern enforcement mechanisms, and biodiversity protection.
As one of the world’s youngest RFMOs, the NPFC has an opportunity to base its policies on the most modern practices in fisheries management. To do that, and help achieve its goals, the Commission can take these four steps during its Tokyo meeting:
By taking these steps, the NPFC could make significant strides toward preventing illegal activity from undermining its conservation and management efforts. These accomplishments would also clear the way to develop harvest strategies for Pacific chub mackerel and other north Pacific stocks, implement best practices for transshipment, and adopt policies in line with the Port State Measures Agreement—three priorities for several NPFC members that could be addressed in 2020 and beyond.
Grantly Galland is an officer with Pew’s international fisheries team.