Resolution by OPRT for Restriction of Large Scale Tuna Purse Seine Fishing Capacity

Tokyo, May 26, 2005

The OPRT with membership of organizations or enterprises engaged in production, trade, distribution and consumption of sashimi tunas throughout the world,

Noting that the objectives of the OPRT is to promote responsible tuna longline fisheries as well as sustainable use of the world tuna resources,

Being concerned that the related tuna resources have been over-exploited and declined on a global basis over the years,

Recognizing that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) is in its objective and principles of the “International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity” calling for States and regional fisheries organizations confronted with an over- capacity problem, where capacity is undermining achievement of long-term sustainability outcomes, should endeavor ……to limit at present level and progressively reduce the fishing capacity applied to affected fisheries,

Recalling that the World Tuna Longline Fishery Conference held in August, 2003 in Tokyo adopted the Joint Declaration and the participants in that declaration agree to take effective measures respectively and jointly to restrict tuna longline fishing capacity on a global and sustainable basis and at the same time, to express concern over the rapidly increasing number and capacity of large-scale tuna purse seine fishing vessels,

Recognizing that related tuna longline fishing industries under the OPRT have been in response to this call of the conference or substantially before this call striving to address the issue of an over-capacity problem by undertaking various scheme such as fleet reduction scheme or positive listing scheme while large-scale tuna purse seine fisheries have been continuing to increase number and capacity of their vessels,

Taking into account that large-scale tuna purse seine fishing industries particularly in the Central and Western Pacific have been further accelerating an over-capacity of their fleet not only by increasing the number, size and efficiency of the vessels but also by promoting operation under the flag of convenience despite the two resolutions adopted in the region both in 1999 and 2003 calling for a restriction of fishing efforts as well as fishing capacity over tunas from the concerns over their serious resource conditions,

Expressing grave concern that such limitless expansion of large-scale tuna purse seine fishing fleets together with the fact that those purse seine fisheries catch a large amount of juvenile tunas, could adversely affect the sustainability of tuna longline fisheries which share the world tuna resources with those tuna purse seine fisheries in the fishing grounds over the world,


1. UN FAO, related regional tuna fisheries management organizations, related national fisheries authorities and related large-scale tuna purse seine fishing industries should ensure that mechanism to regulate and restrict number and capacity of large-scale tuna purse seine fishing vessels would be worked out on a global and sustainable basis

2. Particularly in the Central and Western Pacific where urgent measures are needed due to a rapid and predominant increase in number as well as capacity of large-scale tuna purse-seine fishing vessels over the past several years, the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific (WCPFC) should take immediate actions to ensure reduction of number and capacity of large-scale tuna purse seine fishing vessels in the region.

3. Related regional tuna fisheries management organizations as well as related national fisheries authorities should promote cooperation and coordination among those organizations so that transference of excessive purse seine fishing capacity over tunas would be avoided.

This resolution would not deny a special recognition to be given to the differences between regions as well as the requirements of developing industries when regulation and restriction in number and capacity of large scale tuna purse seine fishing vessels would be discussed and implemented on a global or regional basis.