Scientific advice

Developing advice and analyses to quantify the impacts of fishing and climate change for conservation and management of Pacific oceanic resources

SPC FAME’s Fisheries and Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis (FEMA) section provides independent scientific advice to SPC members, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and its associated committees, our sister CROP agencies (FFA, SPREP), international fora (such as joint tuna regional fisheries management organisations working groups), other regional actors and stakeholders, and the broader global scientific community. In addition to developing advice through robust data analyses, SPC also fact checks information provided by third parties.  Our focal areas for advice include climate change impacts on Pacific oceanic resources; ecosystem impacts associated with habitat loss, pollution, and fishing; regional observer and fisheries monitoring standards; and metrics for monitoring Pacific ecosystems and the impacts of fishing on bycatch species.  Where appropriate, we publish analyses and advice in peer-reviewed scientific literature to ensures its robustness and to maximise its global impact.

Climate change

Our climate change advice provides quantitative analyses of the current impacts of climate change on Pacific tuna resources as well as the expected impacts in the coming years. It includes briefings for Pacific Ministers and senior officials, informs the WCPFC Resolution on Climate Change and contributes to national and regional dialogues associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and other international processes.

Bycatch and ecosystem impacts of fishing

Our advice on bycatch and ecosystem impacts of fishing is based on our quantitative analyses and models of the current risks and vulnerabilities imposed by fishing. It focuses on providing the information needed by our members and informs the development of conservation and management measures by the WCPFC.

Fisheries demography

We undertake extensive research to provide input data necessary for assessing the status of stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), including the use of advanced forensic science methods to estimate important demographic parameters (such as population size, age structure, fecundity, sex ratio).  The key focus of this work is to inform the stock assessments undertaken in the WCPO and we consequently dedicate much of our advice in this area to technical experts (internal and external) and the WCPFC Scientific Committee.

Fisheries monitoring

SPC FAME provides training and auditing services for observer and port sampling operations throughout the WCPO.  Most recently this has also extended to the use of electronic reporting and monitoring.  Our technical advice serves on-water practitioners (such as observers), national and regional fisheries monitoring programs, and the development of minimum date and performance standards for fisheries monitoring activities implemented in the region.