Looking to the long-term for management of tropical tunas? An assessment of special requirements arguments at WCPFC14
Abolhassani, A, Looking to the long-term for management of tropical tunas? An assessment of special requirements arguments at WCPFC14, Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, 10, (3) pp. 195-204. ISSN 1836-6503 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
The 14th Session of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) convened in Manila, Philippines from 3 to 8 December 2017. At the meeting, Commission members adopted eight legally binding measures for the purposes of conserving and managing tuna and tuna-like species in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Closing at three am on the longest day of negotiations in WCPFC history, the session advanced complex negotiations on a bridging measure to regulate the regionís three highly valuable tropical tuna stocks. A key factor in the meetingís late close was the negotiating positions taken by three member countries to alter the measure based on claims concerning their special requirements. Subsequent debate revealed that the Commission currently lacks a systematic approach to addressing the special requirements of its member countries. Furthermore, negotiations showed the extent to which members leverage ambiguity concerning special requirements in order to broker compromises within the Commissionís ad-hoc, short-term decision-making framework. Outcomes from WCPFC14 demonstrate that while Commission members have made long-term promises to evolve their approach to decision-making through tools like harvest strategies and an allocation framework, at the session itself they continued to rely on short-term decision-making that did not reflect scientifically advised limits.