About SustainPacFish

SustainPacFish communicates how the island nations of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) safeguard tuna, other highly migratory fish, and the oceanic environment they live in. Not just for the near future, but always.

OFMP3 takes an ecosystem approach to sustaining tuna fisheries and marine resources

The Oceanic Fisheries Management Project 3 (OFMP3) will:

Mainstream climate change and ecosystem-based approaches into the sustainable management of the living marine resources of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

OFMP3 has three objectives for the WCPFC’s ecosystem and its living marine resources:

  • improving and strengthening management strategies and mechanisms
  • strengthening and expanding the scientific knowledge base to support improved understanding and management
  • capacity-building and training for improved management.

OFMP3 has four technical components and seven target outcomes:


Component 1: Proactive and adaptive ecosystem-based approach to regional fisheries management

  • Maintained 100% sustainability of all four WCP tuna stocks representing some 3 million tonnes of annual catch.
  • Improved capacity and expertise for overall fisheries management at both the national and regional level as well as expanded opportunities for Pacific SIDS engagement in fisheries markets.

Component 2: Innovative technology supporting the adaptive ecosystem-based approach to regional fisheries management

  • Improved monitoring of catch, bycatch and movement of catch (transhipping, landing and marketing), Monitoring, Compliance and Surveillance (MCS) and data analysis aiming to further reduce Illegal, Unreported and IUU fishing below the current already low 6.5% (measured level as of latest year, 2019).
  • Increased management, monitoring and control of fish aggregating devices (FADs) to optimise returns from target stocks and reduce bycatch and other ecological impacts.

Component 3: A regional strategy for improved community subsistence and resilience to climate change effects on the ecology and fisheries of the region

  • Strengthened data capture, modelling and assessment feeding into management responses to climate-induced impacts on fisheries and marine ecosystems.
  • New strategies in place to respond to socioeconomic changes and food security issues related to climate change (i.e. improving community subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries)

Component 4: Knowledge Management and Sharing

  • Adaptive and sustainable ecosystem-based management of fisheries and associated natural resources responding to climate change impacts and focusing on the benefit to the Pacific Island Countries.

OFMP internationally funded and regionally implemented for the benefit of Pacific small island states

OFMP is an initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

OFMP is managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The third round of funding for the project (OFMP3) began in 2022.

The project is run by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and involves regional and subregional partners.

The project is for the benefit of the people of the 14 small island developing states (SIDS) of the region:

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Read about how OFMP evolved in the Pacific Tuna Story, which began in 2000.

FFA partners with other regional organisations to implement OFMP3

FFA works with other regional organisations to deliver OFMP. FFA facilitates regional cooperation of the 17 countries that are its members. It was established in 1979 to help its members to sustainably manage the fishery resources inside their 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs). FFA provides technical assistance and expert advice to members.

FFA commissioned two studies that guided the development of OFMP3. They are the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis and the Strategic Action Programme (SAP), which shows how the problems raised in the TDA will be resolved.

The SIDS and FFA collaborate in decision-making in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The commission sets region-wide rules for all aspects of industrial fishing for tuna and other species. The region it governs is defined in the western and central Pacific fisheries convention.

The Pacific Community (SPC) contributes scientific and technical research and knowledge that supports the development of the SIDS. It also takes part in WCPFC committees. The most important areas of its work for the tuna fisheries are research on tuna biology and behaviour, the needs of healthy ecosystems, and climate change.

The 8 countries that signed the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) control the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse-seine fishery. All 8 countries are SIDS, and are members of FFA. The PNA focuses on sustainably managing tuna fisheries through the Vessel Day Schemes for purse-seine and longline fishing. The schemes limit the number of fishing days each year, and operators pay a fee to fish in the waters of member countries. The fees contribute to regional economic development.

Other project partners

Others that will be involved in OFMP3 are:

  • fisher families, who are developing the domestic fishery in the region
  • Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA), which promotes the development of the private sector in the region’s fisheries
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific, which has long been involved in conservation of Pacific species and environments, and is a voice at WCPFC discussions and other regional forums.

The project partners will also work with the following organisations, many of which we have worked with for years on different projects: