The Oceanic Fisheries Programme

The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) is part of the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division of SPC, and is the Pacific Community’s regional centre for tuna fisheries research, fishery monitoring, stock assessment and data management. It was established by the 1980 South Pacific Conference (as the Tuna and Billfish Assessment Programme) to continue and expand the work initiated by its predecessor project, the Skipjack Survey and Assessment Programme.

Longline Electronic Monitoring Compliance Data and Transhipment Standards Workshop - 18-20 Nov 2020
Friday, 06 November 2020 00:00

The purpose of the DCC LL EM Compliance Data and Transhipment Standards Workshop will be to address three areas:

- To identify a set of data fields that are required for MCS purposes that may be collected by Electronic Monitoring on longline vessels.

- Review and develop TORs for the progress of the regional agency workplan for support of EM Standards, Specifications and Procedures (SSPs) development.

- Develop a suite of minimum data fields that would be required for monitoring of longline transhipment operations for scientific and compliance purposes. These would be baseline requirements and not specific to a particular data collection tool. These minimum data fields would be relevant to the acquisition of data from longline transhipments from either EM or observers.

Shark and ray identification manual
Thursday, 21 November 2019 10:17

Shark and ray identification manualfor observers and crew of the western and central Pacific tuna fisheries

by Timothy Park, Lindsay Marshall, Aymeric Desurmont, Boris Colas and Neville Smith

The SPC Shark and ray identification manual for observers and crew of the western and central Pacific tuna fisheries has been developed to improve the identification of shark and ray species encountered in the tropical and subtropical tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), as well as informing on correct methods for their handling and release. The manual is designed to be a concise field guide for use by fisheries observers and fishers who collect the operational data and whose reports are the principal sources of catch information for fisheries management in the world’s largest tuna fishery...


Identifying the Spatial Structure of Tropical Pacific Tuna Stocks Workshop
Monday, 08 October 2018 16:31

SPC, New Caledonia - 9-12 October 2018

Tuna are the focus of significant fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, with landings of four species (skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and albacore tuna) constituting approximately 70% of the global tuna catch. 

Stock assessments for skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and South Pacific albacore tunas in the Pacific Ocean currently assume eastern and western stocks, a split that reflects historical development of fishery management in the region rather than biological considerations.

There is widespread agreement that uncertainties surrounding the stock structure of the four main target species could have important impacts on population dynamics models used to assess stock status and inform management options.

2018 Tuna Stock Assessment Workshops
Thursday, 17 May 2018 14:28

SPC, Noumea, New Caledonia - 14-18 and 21-25 May 2018

The Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) of the Pacific Community (SPC) is conducting two week-long Stock Assessment Training Workshops at SPC headquarters in Noumea from 14-18 May and 21-25 May 2016.  A total of 17 regional scientists from 12 SPC member countries will attend an introductory course and 12 scientists from 12 member countries will attend an advanced course. These annual workshops are intended to prepare participants for involvement with the Scientific Committee meetings held in advance of the WCPFC Annual Meeting.  In particular, the basics of stock assessment and the interpretation of the SPC target species stock assessment reports are the focus of the training.  The workshops are led by OFP’s two National Scientists, Dr. Steven Hare and Dr. Sam McKechnie, but involve contributions from most of the Stock Assessment and Modeling section.

Snapper Harvest Strategy
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:48

Deepwater snapper are an important resource for many Pacific island countries and territories (PICTs). Fisheries for deepwater snapper supply domestic and export markets, acting as both a food source and economic commodity. However, a lack of formalised harvest policies for deepwater snapper stocks has resulted in ad-hoc management in many countries.

This fact sheet outlines three alternative stock assessment techniques for deepwater snapper fisheries and examples of their incorporation into a formal harvest strategy.

The fact sheet

Tuna Fisheries Assessment Report No. 19
Monday, 25 November 2019 16:06

Tuna fisheries assessment reports provide current information on the tuna fisheries of the western and central Pacific Ocean and the fish stocks (mainly tuna) that are impacted by them. The information provided in this report is summary in nature, but a list of references (mostly accessible via the internet) is included for those seeking further details. This report is a smart PDF so if you click on a reference within the document it will take you to the figure/section, to return to the page you were on, press alt and the left arrow key.

This report focuses on the primary tuna stocks targeted by the main Western and Central Pacific Ocean industrial fisheries - skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), bigeye tuna (T. obesus) and South Pacific albacore tuna (T. alalunga).

Sub-Regional Electronic Monitoring Workshop - Oct 2019
Thursday, 26 September 2019 00:00

The Sub-Regional Electronic Monitoring Workshop will take place in Honiara, Solomon Islands, From 16th to 18th October 2019.

Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

alis_smOFP-FEMA team is embarking again on a new adventure: WALLALIS

The goal of the Puffalis cruise is to characterise the ocean around Wallis and Futuna.

It is a joint scientific cruise between SPC and IRD which will continue collaborating to better understand the ocean, its functioning and its inhabitantsa.

Wallalis starting now: See the logbook of the cruise

Logbook of the first PUFFALIS cruise in April 2017....

Logbook of the fifth NECTALIS cruise in December 2016....

Logbook of the fourth NECTALIS cruise in October 2015....

Logbook of the third NECTALIS cruise in December 2014....

Logbook of the second NECTALIS cruise in November 2011....

Logbook of the first NECTALIS cruise in August 2011....

Read more about the WALLALIS Project

Tuna Data Workshop #13, 8-12th April 2019
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 00:00

The regional Tuna Data Workshop is conducted on an annual basis for SPC member countries to improve their scientific tuna monitoring and data management capacity, and satisfy their data reporting obligations to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). 2019 marks the 13th annual Tuna Data Workshop and it is held from the 8th to the 12th of April, in Noumea, New Caledonia.

17th Regional Observer Coordinators Workshop
Monday, 06 March 2017 00:00

The workshop was jointly organised and facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Pacific Community (SPC). Representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu met in Nadi, Fiji from 06 – 10 February 2017 for the 17th Annual Regional Observer Coordinators Workshop (ROCW17). Observers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) Observer Agency, MRAG Asia Pacific and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Secretariat also participated in the meeting



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