The Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency yesterday said Taiwan had become an official member of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO).
The agency said gaining membership of the organization would help protect the rights of Taiwan’s fishing vessels to catch jumbo (or Humboldt) squid in the southern Pacific’s high seas.
The main purpose of establishing the SPRFMO was to manage the non-highly migratory fish species in the region, including deep sea fish stocks such as the orange roughy and the Jack mackerel, the agency said, adding that its management ranges over Taiwan’s jumbo squid fishing operations in the southeastern Pacific near Peru.
At present, there are about 20 large squid-fishing vessels of 700 tonne-grade or larger, operating in the area, with an annual fishing capacity of about 24,000 tonnes, accounting for more than NT$1 billion (US$34 million) in value of production, it added.
Thirty days after the government sent out the required legal documents of conforming to Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean on Aug. 24, Taiwan became a member of the SPRFMO yesterday, the agency said.
The agency said this is the first time Taiwan has become a member of an international organization that regulates the catch of non-highly migratory fish species.
In addition, it said becoming a member of the SPRFMO is another successful case of gaining membership as a fishing entity in an international convention, after the precedent of attending the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in 2004 and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission in 2010.