Marine pollution originating from purse seine and longline fishing vessel operations in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, 2003–2015
Fisheries observer data recorded between 2003 and 2015 on-board purse seine and longline vessels operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean reported more than 10 000 pollution incidents within the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of 25 Pacific countries and territories, and in international waters. A majority of the reported purse seine pollution incidents related to dumping of plastics waste. Other common pollution incidents related to oil spillages and to abandoned, lost or dumped fishing gear. Data analysis highlighted the need for increased monitoring, reporting, and enforcement of pollution violations by all types of fishing vessels operating in the Pacific region; a regional outreach and compliance assistance programme on marine pollution prevention and improvements in Pacific port waste reception facilities.
KeywordsAbandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear Fisheries Marine pollution Pacific Ocean Plastic pollution
The authors would like to acknowledge the support, co-operation and communication of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in helping to better understand the nature of these pollution incidents and work towards achievable solutions to mitigate this problem.
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