Sub-contracting on the sea: vessel chartering and its implications for tuna conservation efforts in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
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University of Washington Abstract Sub-contracting on the sea: vessel chartering and its implications for tuna conservation efforts in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Emily Crigler Chair of Supervisory Committee: Professor Edward Allison, PhD School of Marine and Environmental Affairs Pacific Island countries that are a party to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) often enter into access agreements and sub-contracting arrangements with foreign vessel owners as a way to increase domestic fishing vessel capacity, gain access to resources within their waters and further develop domestic fishery capabilities. Historically, this was done through access agreements and joint venture initiatives with foreign governments and foreign vessel owners - and more recently through the use of charter arrangements with foreign flagged fishing vessels. In recognition of the development aspirations of Small Island Developing States, fishing vessels of Pacific Island countries operating in the WCPFC Convention Area are often exempted from conservation measures that the Commission put into place to sustainably manage highly migratory stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Sub-contracted foreign fishing vessels operating under charter arrangements are often included in these exemptions. This paper examines the issues surrounding the use of foreign-chartered vessels in WCPFC and provides an assessment of the potential risk for these charter arrangements to undermine the effectiveness of management measures that were put into place to conserve tuna stocks. The potential for the use of chartered vessels to undermine conservation efforts has been largely driven by limited management, risks associated with exemptions, and the transfer of effort by foreign fleets. Evidence suggests that risks associated with the use of chartered vessels have not been addressed in the WCPFC and that a more robust management framework is necessary to properly manage the use of such vessels. **The opinions expressed in this paper do not represent the views of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the United States government.
- Marine affairs