Direct the Task Force to develop, within one year (and refine as appropriate in subsequent years), best practices for catch documentation and data tracking; high seas boarding and inspection; monitoring, control, and surveillance measures (including observer programs, vessel tracking systems, authorized vessel lists); port State control; and compliance monitoring and promote their adoption in each of the Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) of which the United States is a member.
Effective management of internationally shared fish stocks requires cooperation among nations to develop the necessary monitoring, control, and surveillance measures to ensure that all follow the agreed upon rules. Different RFMOs have adopted different measures over the years, and they are often developed ad hoc within each organization and not always updated in light of improvements in technology or other advances. Particularly among the RFMOs that manage similar fish stocks, consistent and up-to-date measures that reflect best practices will facilitate enforcement, eliminate loopholes, and improve cooperation. At the same time, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Effective use of these tools also means identifying which tools fit best with the specifics of each fishery or region.
Article 21 of the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA) establishes a reciprocal high seas boarding and inspection regime that is a critical tool for greater cooperation in enforcement of RFMO-adopted conservation and management measures. This regime serves as the best-practice model for RFMO schemes. To date only the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) has implemented measures to the full extent outlined in UNFSA, and the United States will continue to seek adoption of comparable regimes in the other RFMOs to which it is a party.