In 2005 the Pacific Fishery Management Council put into place a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for west coast HMS including albacore, billfish, sharks, and other species. The Fisheries Resources Division (FRD) has three principle areas of responsibility for HMS: the central-western Pacific fisheries for yellowfin, skipjack and bigeye tuna, south Pacific albacore and north Pacific albacore, bluefin tuna, sharks and billfish.
Our goals are to progressively advance assessment of HMS managed stocks to the highest level of stock assessment complexity, to strengthen domestic and international coordination with Pacific rim laboratories and management institutions in order to gain access to information required to provide sound scientific advice, to respond to information requirements of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and to address U.S. data and science commitments to international agreements.
The FRD conducts biological and economic research on the stocks included in the FMP with an emphasis on albacore, striped marlin, thresher and mako sharks. FRD work on highly migratory species also supports U.S. commitments to international management of HMS in the Pacific Ocean. Specific international responsibilities include provision of stock assessment and management advise to NMFS and U.S. officials and commissioners to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, the South Pacific Tuna Treaty, the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish, the International Scientific Committee, the North Pacific Albacore Workshop, and the Multilateral High-Level Conference (MHLC) on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks of the Central and Western Pacific. The FRD also provides information on the distribution and movements of billfish taken in recreational fisheries and most recently initiated a cooperative research project with southern California recreational billfish anglers (Pacific Angler Affiliation for Billfish - PacFAAB).
Recently added to the FAO Fisheries Department Homepage is a website providing basic information on each of the established Regional Fishery Bodies (FAO and non-FAO) that cover the world's marine and inland regions:
- Map of the area and membership
- Contacts and addresses
- Objectives and management structures
The Executive Summary (SCTB 14 Report) of the fourteenth meeting of the Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish (August 8-16th 2001, in Noumea, New Caledonia), as well as many of the working documents presented during the meeting, are available at: http://www.spc.int/OceanFish/Html/SCTB/SCTB14. Tuna/billfish scientists representing more than 20 nations and international fisheries organizations participated.