Rhea Moss-Christian, the new Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) made her first official visit to the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia. The visit strengthened and reaffirmed the longstanding partnership between the two organisations and emphasized the shared commitment to effective collaboration for the sustainable management of regional tuna fisheries in the Pacific.
In a statement, Ms Moss-Christian highlighted the importance of the partnership between the WCPFC and SPC, noting " SPC's cutting-edge science is instrumental in ensuring that the WCPFC has the best scientific information available to make critical management decisions."
SPC has been WCPFC's scientific services provider since 2005, following the establishment of the partnership during the negotiations of the WCPF Convention. In this role, SPC assists WCPFC members by curating and analysing data related to tuna fisheries and marine ecosystems, providing stock assessments and scientific advice, and supporting the Commission’s development of harvest strategies, pre-agreed plans that control fishing levels, for key tuna fisheries and stocks.
SPC’s Director-General, Dr Stuart Minchin, emphasized this critical role. "Science underpins sound management and conservation of the marine ecosystems of the Pacific. SPC's deep knowledge and understanding of the region's unique social, economic, and environmental contexts enable us to provide targeted technical assistance, policy advice, and capacity building to our members, and we are proud to partner with the WCPFC in this essential work."
WCPFC recently prioritized climate change discussions as part of its future work and SPC’s ongoing efforts in studying climate change impacts on tuna fisheries is an important contribution to supporting those discussions. Moss-Christian's visit to SPC cements their shared goal of better understanding the impacts of climate change on Pacific tuna stocks and safeguarding the livelihoods of millions of people in the Pacific for generations to come.
"SPC is a valued partner of WCPFC, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit their headquarters and meet with their leadership team," said Ms Moss-Christian. "As our work in the WCPFC continues to grow, we are fortunate to be supported by the team at SPC with their extensive experience and expertise on the region’s tuna fisheries."
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is an international fisheries management organization responsible for the conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks, particularly tuna, in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. Established in 2004, the WCPFC comprises 41 member countries and territories dedicated to promoting the sustainable management of the region's fisheries resources.