Page 11 - Keeping Hawaii Seafood Sustainable

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Uncertainty and the
Precautionary Approach.
Ideally, fishery management is based
on a complete understanding of marine
populations and ecosystems and how
they are impacted by fishing. This
ideal is unattainable for most fisheries,
including Hawaii longline fisheries,
because of uncertainty and the
possibility of unforeseen impacts
in the complex and highly dynamic
ocean ecosystem. For this reason,
fishery management incorporates a
precautionary approach that accounts
for the uncertainties. To improve the
quality of science-based management,
there is an emphasis on relevant
research and effective monitoring
of fishery impacts on targeted,
non-targeted and associated species
to forecast ecosystem change and
minimize unforeseen impacts of
management actions.
Who sets the Standards for
Sustainable Fisheries?
Sustainable seafood comes from
responsible fisheries. There is only
one globally-harmonized standard
for how to develop and manage wild
capture fisheries—The United Nations’
Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible
Fisheries, adopted in 1995 (FAO 1995).
The FAO is the forum through which
the world’s nations set internationally-
agreed to norms for food production.
The Code of Conduct prescribes
in great detail what countries should
do to manage fisheries sustainably
by addressing,
1) Fishery Management
2) Fishing Operations
3) Post-harvest & Trade Practices
4) Integration with Coastal Area
5) Aquaculture
6) Fisheries Research
How does the Hawaii Longline
Fishery measure against
the FAO Code of Conduct for
Responsible Fisheries?
In 2006, the Hawaii longline fishery
was the first pelagic fishery in the world
to be fully assessed against the FAO
Code of Conduct (Bartram et al. 2006).
The Responsible Fisheries Assessment
(RFA) of the Hawaii longline fishery
was used by the FAO as one of the few
models of the practical application of
the Code as an evaluation tool since its
adoption in 1995 (FAO 2007). In 2008,
the fishery was evaluated for a second
time to report on progress in achieving
the objectives of the Code. Our fishery
scored 94% compliance with the
detailed provisions of the Code (Bar-
tram et al. 2008). This demonstrates
how this fishery operates responsi-
bly and is managed for sustainability.
Hawaii’s fishery is truly a model for
fisheries management and remains one
of the few fisheries in the world to have
been assessed comprehensively against
the global standard.
International Management of
Pacific tuna and related fish.
Open ocean (pelagic) fish harvested in
Hawaii fisheries are part of wide-ranging
Pacific populations managed under
national and international agreements
to which the U.S. is a party. Hawaii
longline fisheries operate within the
management jurisdiction of two Regional
Fisheries Management Organizations
(RFMO), the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and
the Inter-American Tropical Tuna
Commission (IATTC) in the eastern
Pacific. Whether in Hawaii or interna-
tional waters, Hawaii longliners follow
U.S. fishery regulations at all times.
See map (Figure 6)
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations