Bringing Pacific Bluefin Tuna Back From the Brink: Ensuring the Submission of Operational Data to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
6 Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. Law 239 (2016)
47 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2019
Date Written: 2016
The Commission of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western Pacific Ocean (WCPFC) manages fish stocks of significant financial and ecological value across an area of the Pacific Ocean comprising 20% of Earth. WCPFC members, however, have disagreed sharply over management measures for tuna, sharks, and other species, in part because some WCPFC members have refused to provide the WCPFC with vessel-specific data, known as operational data, which is needed to manage the stocks sustainably. Despite a legal requirement to submit operational data to the WCPFC, these members, including Japan and Korea, have claimed that “domestic legal constraints,” in particular prohibitions against disclosure of “personal information,” prevent them from complying with their international obligation to submit operational data. This Article assesses those claims and concludes that Japan and Korea either do not have current domestic legal constraints preventing them from submitting operational data or they have readily available options to remedy those constraints. Consequently, they are in violation of their obligations to submit operational data to the WCPFC.
Keywords: IUU fishing, WCPFC, tuna, data
JEL Classification: K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation