South Pacific Tuna Treaty
Fisheries treaty agreement between the United States and 16 Pacific island countries.
The South Pacific Tuna Treaty represents an ongoing agreement between the United States and 16 Pacific island countries. The treaty allows for U.S. purse seine vessels to fish in the exclusive economic zones of the Pacific island countries party to the treaty. Entering into force in 1988, the Treaty has lasted more than 30 years. (It was extended in 1993, and again in 2002).
In December 2016, the parties involved in the treaty agreed to a revised and updated treaty that modernized the way that U.S. fishing vessels secure access to the productive tuna fishing waters of the treaty nations. The amended treaty defines the number of fishing days in waters of the parties to the treaty that are exclusively available to fishing vessels from the United States, as well as defining a mechanism for U.S. vessels to arrange for additional fishing access directly with the countries involved.
The treaty is viewed as a model of international and fishery cooperation and has helped establish fisheries observer and data reporting requirements, as well as monitoring, control and surveillance standards for the region’s fisheries, all of which are vital to deterring illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
Parties to the South Pacific Tuna Treaty
- Cook Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
- United States