The Tuna Compliance Network (TCN) was established in 2017 to promote communication and cooperation between the tuna RFMOs and to provide an informal forum to share information about MCS processes and compliance best practice. The TCN was established with support from the Common Oceans Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Tuna Project that is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The TCN and has been invaluable in bringing together those that work in this unique, complex and challenging environment and advancing joint work. The TCN is hosted within the IMCS Network and includes officers responsible for compliance in the five tuna RFMOs including the:
- Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT)
- Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC)
- International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)
- Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)
- Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
The five tuna RFMOs cover an area over 325 million km2, representing 91 percent of the world's ocean. A total of one hundred and seven countries, fishing entities and Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REOI) cooperate within the framework of the tuna RFMOs and are involved in the conservation and management of tuna and tuna-like species that have an annual value of almost USD10 billion at landing. The TCN brings together over 100 years of experience in RFMO MCS and compliance and thus provides valuable insights into the operation and effectiveness of the tuna RFMO compliance processes.
The main goals of the TCN are:
- Facilitating communication and information exchange.
- Fostering joint efforts, including the development of common tools and procedures and best practice compliance methodologies.
- Enhancing opportunities for sharing technology and technology transfer.
- Improving awareness of new and existing measures, procedures and technologies within RFMOs.
Identifying and coordinating capacity building and training opportunities.
The TCN first met in Vigo, Spain in 2017, and again in Honiara, Solomon Islands in 2018 and in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019. During the years of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the TCN met several times virtually including to undertake a comparative review of the compliance assessment processes implemented by the tuna RFMOs.
The TCN adopted its Operational Framework in 2017 to clarify its goals and provide guidance on its form and function.
The TCN met in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019 and focused discussions on the procedures to assess compliance in tuna RFMOs. The report of the Workshop details the outcomes of this meeting.