10 Western and Central Pacific Ocean States Deepen Harvest Strategy Knowledge through Tuna Management Workshop in Bali
How to better manage our tuna fisheries for sustainability? The Western Central Pacific Ocean Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Tuna Management Workshop held in Bali on 1 & 2 August 2017 set out to help regional fishery managers answer this question.
“If I were the Fisheries Minister, what Harvest Control Rule- would you suggest me to enable the tuna stock probability in the green zone, 60%?” said Ian Cartwright, the workshop’s facilitator, to challenge 23 fisheries managers from from 10 countries of Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
“Tuna is an important species as it is commercially valuable fish which swims incredible distances as they migrate. Therefore, its management requires an involvement of several states' collaboration,” Abdullah Habibi, Fisheries and Aquaculture Improvement Manager, WWF-Indonesia, explained during the two-day workshop.
“This workshop will reinforce a better decision making on tuna management – through the involvement of all stakeholders, including tuna fishing industries in various levels,” added Wawan Ridwan, Coral Triangle Program Director, WWF-Indonesia.
Workshop attendees from Niue, Nauru, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Panama, Samoa, Ecuador, Wallis and Futuna, and Indonesia advanced their understanding on harvest strategy adoption and Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) as a precautionary approach of tuna management.
The two-days of discussions occurred in the form of several attractive and interactive focus group discussions. Participants were divided into 5 groups labeled as several pelagic species caught in Western and Central Pacific Ocean – Yellowfin, Skipjack, Albacore, Bluefin, Rainbow Runner.
The first day’s activity featured an interactive game, which included large dice with 6 management objectives on each side. Participants explored perspectives and urgency of each objective as a fundamental basic in a drafting harvest strategy. Participants also designed harvest strategy principles by arranging 25 tiles signifying elements of harvest strategy into a giant table on the floor.
On the second day, participants deepen their knowledge on Tuna MSE, by using an application to compare different Harvest Control Rule scenarios. In the end, participants generated harvest management that were in line with the objectives.
“Managing fisheries, is managing civilization,” said Saut Tampubolon, Deputy Director of Fishery Resource Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs and the Fisheries Republic of Indonesia. “Preserving fish stock through harvest strategy means that we control the civilian’s habit and attitude to have the commitment to the agreed management rule to, precisely achieve the objective – preserve the fisheries sustainability for the future,” he added. Joining WCPFC in 2013, Indonesia is now preparing harvest strategy for Yellowfin and Skipjack tuna in January 2018.
“All stakeholders' collaboration in managing tuna fishing with harvest strategy, is similar with a family vacation,” said Jim Lanelli (Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project) in his presentation. “We all agree that we do not want to have any accident – just like we do not want to face our tuna population vanished due to overfishing. We should determine our destination of this “vacation,” and compromise on the destination that is maybe not everyones's favorite, but everyone will be happy to go there,” explained Jim, emphasizing the importance of destination.
“Driven by that destination, we can find the way to achieve it. Again, just like a vacation, a harvest strategy provides a map and a compass, to get us to our destination,” he added.
This Tuna Management Workshop is the fifth workshop convened as an effort of ABNJ Tuna Project under the Common Oceans Initiative under FAO, GEF, and WWF with the support from Ocean Outcomes. The workshop is a solid foundation that supports better tuna management in the Pacific Ocean
Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project works in preserving tuna sustainability globally and is funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) with the support from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). WWF leads the achievement of ABNJ Tuna Project, including implementations in increasing the understanding and harvest strategy adoption by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs).