Q. Hanich, H. Parris & M. Tsamenyi. Sovereignty and cooperation in regional Pacific tuna fisheries management: Politics, economics, conservation and the vessel day scheme. Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs. 2010, Vol 2(1).
The Pacific islands region has developed a collaborative approach to fisheries management that has set global precedents in regional fisheries co-operation and significantly boosted Islanders’ capacity to manage the region’s tuna fisheries in a manner consistent with their individual national interests. Through this cooperation, the Pacific islands states have developed a collective influence in fisheries negotiations that is arguably far greater and more effective than what they could achieve individually. During 2007–2009, the Pacific islands region further developed its collective approach by establishing new initiatives in regional fisheries cooperation that are of global interest. Chief among these is the Vessel Day Scheme, which introduces a flexible and potentially tradeable permit scheme into regional management, and a supporting set of zonal based management measures. This paper examines the evolution and development of these recent management initiatives and provides a tentative evaluation of these against the conservation and management agreements entered into by the Pacific islands.