WCPFC adopts FAD entanglement proposal

The WCPFC has adopted proposals to reduce the risk of entanglement from FADs Photo: NOAA The WCPFC has adopted proposals to reduce the risk of entanglement from FADs Photo: NOAA

Following a proposal by the European Union, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted a binding measure to reduce the risk of entanglement from fish aggregating devices by 2020.

At the latest meeting of the WCPFC, all main provisions of the existing conservation and management measure for bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tuna were rolled over. Negotiators also agreed on a Target Reference Point for South Pacific Albacore aimed at reducing the level of catches and increasing abundance.

Other positive measures adopted include an amendment of the seabirds measure, seen as an important step forward to expand the zone of protection of endangered bird species, and WCPFC rules regarding transhipment will be reviewed in 2019.

Best practice guidelines for safe release of sharks, to reduce the mortality of sharks caught incidentally were also adopted, along with non-binding minimum labour standards for crew on fishing vessels.

A new measure for sharks that would incorporate more rigorous conservation measures and easier enforceable provisions did not achieve consensus and was eventually dismissed.

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