Transshipment governance in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean

Purse seine vessels. Photo by Wolcott Henry 2005/Marine Photobank
Grantee Pew Charitable Trusts
Grant Amount $540,000
Duration Two Years

Oceans 5 is supporting four organizations as they work to reform how transshipment is governed in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).  The transshipment of tuna, which commonly involves both purse seine and longline vessels transferring fresh fish to large carrier vessels, both at sea and in port, for transport back to shoreside processing hubs, is an important part of the tuna supply chain.  However, lack of monitoring and regulatory oversight of this activity, especially at-sea transshipments involving longline vessels, means that over $142 million USD of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) product is linked to transshipment in the WCPO each year.

While data and information on transshipment activities are collected by both vessels and independent observers, no single management body has access to the range of documentation necessary to create a full and complete picture of the transshipment activities that occur in the WCPO region. A thorough and complete study and analysis of this activity is needed in order to clearly identify inconsistencies and gaps in the reported information and identify key regulatory needs and reforms.

The Oceans 5 grant supports The Pew Charitable Trusts, WWF, the Australian National Centre for Ocean Governance and Security (ANCORS), and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) whose members include: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The organizations are cooperating to conduct a comprehensive review of transshipment monitoring and regulation in the WCPO and then develop and implement high quality standards for the governance of transshipment. Oceans 5 is providing three years of funding that began in summer 2017.