Resources on observers and compliance in the WCPO
This page contains resources on official observers and their work, and on compliance. Some compliance work is done by observers. You can find news stories, popular articles, opinion pieces and blog posts on this topic on the Observers and compliance news and views page.
2021 IUU report
- 2-minute briefs: Your quick guide to fisheries issues—observer program, FFA
- Fishing problems: Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, WWF Pacific, 2011
- How WCPFC enforces the rules, Forum Fisheries Agency, 2011
Technical papers: observers
- Survey of human observer programs for purse seine vessels and a set of best practices, ISSF, 2021
- Fisheries observer deaths at sea, human rights, and the role and responsibilities of fisheries organisations, Human Rights at Sea, July 2020
- Handbook of conservation management measures and resolutions for WCPFC Regional Observer Programmes, WCPFC, March 2020
- Survey of human observer programs for purse-seine vessels and a set of best practices, ISSF, February 2020. This report surveys national, regional and sub-regional observer programs being used in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.
- PIRFO training framework, SPC and FFA, 2019
- Information paper on labour rights in the fishing industry (the case of unpaid salary disputes on fishing vessels), paper presented to WCPFC 16th session, December 2019
- Harmonised minimum terms and conditions for access by fishing vessels, FFA, amended 2019; includes rules for protecting the health and safety of observers and of crew
- Proceedings of the 9th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference, held in Vigo, Spain, 11–15 June 2018. Topics include technology and electronic monitoring, industry engagement with monitoring, new ways of analysing data, observer safety and mental health, and training for observers.
- Trainee observers may find these documents useful: the WCPFC conservation and management measure (CMM) for the Regional Observer Programme (ROP), the standards and guidelines for the ROP, and the observer’s handbook on WCPFC CMMs.
- Proceedings of the 8th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference, held in San Diego, USA, 29 August – 2 September 2016. The theme was improving fishery monitoring programs.
- Data collect requirements for observer programmes to improve knowledge of fishery impacts on seabirds, by Anton Wolfaardt, ICCAT, 2016
- International bill of rights for observers, Association for Professional Observers, 2007
Technical papers: compliance
- Strengthening tuna RFMO transshipment regulations, ISSF, May 2021
- RFMO vessel monitoring systems: A comparative analysis to identify best practices, ISSF, February 2021
- Toward transparent governance of transboundary fisheries: the case of Pacific tuna transhipment, by Katherine Seto, Nathan Miller, Mark Young and Quentin Hanich, Marine Policy, November 2020
- Transhipment: a closer look. An in-depth study in support of the development of international guidelines, FAO, 2020. See also the brochure on Transhipment: a closer look
- 3 ways fisheries managers can pivot on monitoring, control and surveillance, ISSF, July 2020
- RFMO vessel monitoring systems: A comparative analysis to identify best practices, ISSF, March 2020
- Tuna RFMO compliance assessment processes: A comparative analysis to identify best practices, ISSF, February 2021
- Survey of the treatment of support/supply/tender vessels, ISSF, February 2020
- Combatting IUU fishing: Continual improvement and best practices for IUU listing measures in tuna RFMOs, ISSF, January 2020
- Tuna RFMO authorised vessel lists: A comparative analysis to identify best practices, ISSF, January 2020
- Tuna RFMO transhipment analysis, Global Fishing Watch, has links to several reports published in 2109
- Study highlights transhipment problems, solution in world’s biggest tuna fishery (in WCPO), Pew Charitable Trusts, November 2019
- WCPO transhipment business ecosystem study, MRAG Asia Pacific, October 2019
- Harmonised minimum terms and conditions for access by fishing vessels, FFA, amended May 2019; includes rules for protecting the health and safety of observers and of crew
- Report on the international workshop on mitigating environmental impacts of tropical tuna purse-seine fisheries, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, April 2019
- Regional MCS evaluation, FFA, 2016; a report into the current evaluation strategy, with recommendations on how to make it stronger
- Towards the quantification of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific Islands region, FFA, February 2016
- Standard for assessing transparency in information on compliance with obligations of regional fisheries management organizations: validation through assessment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, E. Gilman and E. Kingma, University of Wollongong, 2013
Posters and videos
- The Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community has set up a playlist of videos for observers of the Pacific Island Regional Fisheries Observers (PIRFO) that give insights into the work observers do.
In this video, FFA staff discuss the agency’s approach to tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their waters. They won the 2019 Stop Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing competition for their approach. FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen says in the video that the key to their success is cooperation, ‘our Pacific way’. People interviewed describe how that cooperation works, and talk about their increasing success with the use of electronic reporting and surveillance (10.24 mins).
The European Union’s Commission for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki, explains that the EU’s new compliance rules, which use electronic methods of tracing fish ‘from the net to the plate’, will help stop illegal fishing (2.27 mins).
Ferral Lasi, from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Solomon Islands, talks about his country meeting EU regulations and improving food security and capacity, and access to trade and exports (1.37 mins).
Nikolasi Apinelu, from the Ministry for Natural Resources of Tuvalu, talks at an OFMP2 project forum about matching reported and IUU fishing levels, and stock status, for his country (1.39 mins).