The European Union has ratified the Convention setting up a new Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO), which, once it enters into force, will govern the fishing activities in the high seas of the South Pacific. The EU is the 6th Party to ratify the Convention after Belize, Cook Islands, Republic of Cuba, Kingdom of Denmark in respect of Faroe Islands and New Zealand.
The South Pacific is one of the few remaining parts of the oceans which have not yet been regulated by an RFMO (Regional Fisheries Management Organisation) for non-tuna species. The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) will manage non-highly migratory fish species in the region, including both pelagic and deep sea stocks such as jack mackerel and orange roughy. It covers a vast area including the waters from the most western parts of the South Pacific towards the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of South America.
In order to enter into force, the Convention need to be ratified by at least 8 partners, including at least 3 coastal states in the region and 3 long-distance fishing states. The EU hopes for rapid ratification progress, particularly by the coastal States in the area, to enable the South Pacific RFMO to become fully operational in the near future. The new organisation will allow for the effective management of fisheries resources and the protection of the marine environment in this vast area of the high sea.
-Commission welcomes the creation of a new fisheries management organisation for the South Pacific high seas (Press release of 16/11/2009)