Sharing of information is imperative to global fisheries management.
Australia works closely with our regional neighbours to continually strengthen global management of some of the world’s largest tuna fisheries located in the Pacific Ocean.
One of the most important sources of data available to monitor fishing activity is the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) satellite based electronic Vessel Monitoring System (VMS).
Vessels from all twenty-seven member countries, nine participating territories, and seven cooperating non-member countries fishing for tuna in the Pacific Ocean on the high seas, must report to the WCPFC via a VMS unit which provides information on vessel position, course, and speed 24-hours-a-day 365-days-a-year for the purposes of compliance, fisheries management, and research.
In the Pacific, the WCPFC, the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), and the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) work collaboratively to manage highly migratory, straddling, pelagic fish stocks.
A key area of collaboration is responding to the problem of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing which continues to undermine the effective management and conservation of regional fish stocks.
AFMA has access to VMS data held by the WCPFC and FFA Secretariats, and as a result has direct visibility on what is going on in waters adjacent to the Australian EEZ.
In addition to these electronic surveillance measures AFMA regularly participates in joint operations with our regional counterparts, like with the United States Coast Guard, and French Navy, to board and inspect fishing vessels to check compliance with the rules.
Read more on how AFMA is working to combat illegal fishing at afma.gov.au.