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Taiwan: South Pacific Fishery Pact Signed

(Dec. 17, 2009) It was reported on December 7, 2009, that as a “fishing entity” using the name “Chinese Taipei,” Taiwan has joined the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation. According to the Deputy Director-General of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture's Fisheries Agency, “SPRFMO is the first non-tuna management organization Taiwan has entered.” He pointed out that “SPRFMO's primary mission is to manage types of fish which migrate across the 200-mile economic territorial water limits of different nations in the South Pacific, such as Japanese jack mackerel (Trachurus japonicus) and squid.” (Taiwan Joins South Pacific Fisheries Pact, TAIWAN TODAY, Dec. 8, 2009, available at

About 25 squid trawlers from Taiwan operate in the seas governed by the SPRFMO, garnering an annual haul of from 20,000 to 30,000 metric tons. By joining the SPRFMO, it is believed, Taiwan will be able to guarantee the rights of its fishing vessels in the region and more effectively take part in international efforts to protect marine resources. Moreover, failure to join the SPRFMO would result in Taiwan's catch quota being distributed among other member nations, the Deputy Director-General stated, potentially preventing its vessels from fishing in the South Pacific. (Id.)

According to the Deputy Director-General, at least three coastal states, three distant-water fishing jurisdictions (e.g., Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea), and two other countries must sign the SPRFMO Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, which was adopted on November 14, 2009, in order for it to take effect. Chile, Peru, and Ecuador are signatories; eight states, Australia, Canada, mainland China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States, have expressed their willingness to sign. (Id.; Adoption of the SPRFMO Convention Text, SPRMO website, & Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, SPRMO website,
(both last visited Dec. 9, 2009).)