Ocean Equity Research

Fisheries Governance Publications

Ocean Equity Research Publications

Untangling Jurisdictional Complexities for Crew Labour Regulations on Fishing Vessels in the Western and Central Pacific

In this paper, authors analysed the conservation and management measures of RFMOs that include exemptions from catch, effort and capacity limits and found that they are used most commonly in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. They argue that the use of exemptions due to the failure of RFMOs to adopt equitable allocation frameworks has the potential to negatively impact marine resources and their development opportunities. Instead, alternatives, such as equitable allocations of science-based catch and effort limits, transferability and phased adjustments, should be developed.

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Fishing through the cracks: The unregulated nature of global squid fisheries

The study, led by Katy Seto and published in Science Advances, found that squid fishing vessels fished largely (86%) in unregulated areas, equating to 4.4 million total hours of fishing time between 2017-2020. While unregulated fishing is not necessarily illegal, it presents challenges for fisheries sustainability and resource equity, and has been connected to questionable human rights and labor practices.

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Increasing Industry Involvement in International Tuna Fishery Negotiations

Tuna regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) have long suffered from the domination of distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) in decision-making processes. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) is no exception. In recent years, coastal states of the Indian Ocean (IO) have tried to change this dynamic – led by countries like the Maldives, Kenya, South Africa, and Australia – to deliver greater benefits to the region, including East Africa.

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Enhancing cooperative responses by regional fisheries management organisations to climate-driven redistribution of tropical Pacific tuna stocks

Climate change is predicted to alter the distributions of tropical tuna stocks in the Pacific Ocean. Recent modelling projects significant future shifts in tuna biomass from west to east, and from national jurisdictions to high seas areas. As the distributions of these stocks change, the relevant regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs)—the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)—will need to develop an expanded framework for cooperation and collaboration to fulfil their conservation and management responsibilities under international law.

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Getting beyond yes: fast-tracking implementation of the United Nations agreement for marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction

With a new international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) on the horizon, now is the time to start laying the foundation for successful implementation. This paper provides some initial reflections for supporting rapid, effective, and equitable implementation of the BBNJ Agreement in three priority areas

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How can a new UN ocean treaty change the course of capacity building?

Few States are able to undertake scientific research in the half of the planet that lies in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction. Capacity building is therefore a key part of the development of a new international legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (BBNJ Agreement).

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Illuminating dark fishing fleets in North Korea

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing threatens resource sustainability and equity. A major challenge with such activity is that most fishing vessels do not broadcast their positions and are “dark” in public monitoring systems.

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Assessment of eco-labelling schemes for Pacific tuna fisheries

Developments in fisheries governance in recent decades—notably the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its implementing agreements—have established a framework of principles, standards, institutions and regulations that is broader and more complex than traditional fisheries management, which has generally focused on individual target species.

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