Improving Regional Fisheries Management Organisation Decision-Making: New Hope in the South Pacific?
Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) play a key role in promoting the sustainable management of high seas fisheries. However, many RFMOs are not succeeding in this task. Whilst overexploited fish stocks can be blamed on illegal fishing and on States reluctant to implement robust conservation and management decisions, fault can also be found in the design of RFMO decision-making processes, specifically the use of consensus-based decision-making and objection procedures. This paper evaluates whether a new RFMO, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, and its ‘cutting edge’ decision-making procedure, can act as a model for more effective RFMO decision-making.