Wednesday, 06 October 2010 13:53
The collection of fishery data is supported by international instruments, which places obligations on coastal and flag states to collect, share and disseminate fisheries data. The earliest of this legislation was the United Nations Law of the Sea, 1982 (UNCLOS) which was strengthened by the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, 1995 (see Annex I). Additionally, other non-binding agreements such as FAO’s Code of Conduct, national plans of action and ministerial declarations reinforce the need to collect fisheries data. 
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission requires members to collect data in accordance with these international laws (Data related provisions in the WCPF Convention) along with other information required by the Commission (Reporting Obligations on the WCPFC website)
In Pacific Island countries Domestic Marine Law outlines the obligations placed on fishers to submit data and these are enforced through Fisheries Regulations and Licensing Conditions. FFA and SPC have compiled the resource material “Guidelines for Fisheries Legislation” to describe the main elements domestic marine law should normally include to ensure a strong legislative background for the collection of data. Additionally, national tuna management plans and other associated documentation can also play a key role in directing the data coverage, providing the institutional support  and identifying the local  institutions and legal frameworks which will  support the  collection and management of tuna fisheries data. 
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