World Tuna Longline Fishery Conference

Tokyo, August 26-27, 2003

With the view to promoting responsible tuna lonline fishery as well as ensuring the sustainable use of world tuna resources in accordance with the relevant international instruments, the participants of the World Tuna Longline Fishery Conference (WTLFC) agreed to declare the following actions to be taken jointly and cooperatively:

1. To work for the establishment and implementation of proper conservation and management measures in the relevant regional tuna fishery management organizations on a basis of the current status of relevant tuna resources.

2. To take effective measures respectively and jointly to restrict tuna longline fishing capacity on a global and sustainable basis.

3. To express concern over the rapidly increasing number and capacity of large-scale tuna purse seine fishing vessels.

4. To further promote the smooth and timely exchange of data and information on landing and statistical documents so as to ensure compliance to relevant international tuna conservation and management measures and to validate reported catch data.

5. To implement fully and smoothly the positive listing measures, to eliminate the remaining IUU large-scale tuna longline vessels, and in this connection, to exchange data and information as well as to control effectively the residents and the trade of tuna longline vessels so that those residents or vessels do not engage in IUU fishing.

6. With respect to the incidental catch of sea turtles and seabirds and by-catch of sharks, to work together continuously for
- Collection of the data,
- Improvement of observer programs including possible future use of mechanical observers,
- Study and use of tools and techniques to minimize interaction with those species, and,
- Report of the results of the above actions to the relevant international organizations.

7. To raise unequivocal voice, in every relevant international arena, against the biased unscientific accusation to attack legitimate fishing activities.

8. To take due account of the difficulty of the developing countries to participate in such cooperation requiring the support from other states and relevant international organizations for their effective implementation.

9. To meet periodically to review the progress of the cooperative works.

10. To inform other countries who have tuna longline fishery of the result of the meeting and call for their participation to future meetings.

Note: Nothing in this declaration shall prejudice the sovereignty and jurisdiction of states as regulated by UNCLOS 1982.