By Pita Ligaiula in Da Nang, in Vietnam

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has adopted a resolution for climate change to be part of its meeting agenda item.

This was confirmed to journalists in Da Nang, Vietnam by WCPFC chair, Jungre Riley Kim.

“We made some progress report regarding climate change. In Port Moresby, the Commission adopted a resolution on climate change. And to deliver on that commitment outlined in the resolution.

“This year, the Commission agreed to have standing agenda items related to climate change responses not only in the scientific committee, but also in the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC), and Northern committee and the Commission. That is a very significant delivery of the commitment we made from the 2019 resolution and climate change,” said Riley.

Outgoing WPFC Executive director, Feleti Teo said this is the first for any Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOS) in the world.

“With climate change issue now being agreed to as the permanent regular item on the Commission agenda, I think it will be a first in terms of other Tuna RFMOS,” said Teo.

A tuna expert said revenue from tuna caught within the Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZs) of Pacific Island Countries is expected to decline by 2050 due to climate change.

Conservation International (CI) senior director, Johann Bell told PACNEWS that climate change will affect revenue generated from the industry.

“What we’ve done with the recent modelling is actually look at how the biomass of tuna might change within the EEZ of Pacific Island countries and territories and how it might change in the high seas areas.

“The modelling that we have indicates that by 2050 there is likely to be a 15 percent movement of the amount of tuna in the EEZ onto the high seas. So yes, that will affect the revenue of several countries because if you make the assumption that the revenue is proportional to how much tuna we have in our waters, then that is likely to change and countries will get less revenue,” Bell told PACNEWS.