A View from the Wharf: The Western and Central Pacific Tuna Fishery
The vast majority of tuna consumed around the world is caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. In recent years, this fishery has been undergoing transformative changes. Join Francisco Blaha, the winner of the 2019 Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy, as he gives an overview of the biggest issues facing the tuna industry, with a focus on the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, where he has been residing since 1991. Blaha began his career as a deckhand and fisheries observer and has worked on longliners and purse-seiners in the Western and Central Pacific. He has master’s degrees in fisheries science and food science and previously worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Presently, he works as an independent contractor with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Forum Agency (FFA), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, FAO, and others assisting national fisheries administrations with the implementation of a number of regulatory and sustainability measures and fair labor standards. Blaha will discuss his views on the fishery, from the role of the coastal states organizations, the responsibilities of distant-water fishing nations active in the Pacific tuna fishery, how the fishery has changed recently and what further transformations are imminent, and how the coronavirus crisis has impacted and, in some cases, accelerated that change.
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