IUCN Oceania’s activities currently fall under the GEF-funded Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Project, which is researching any ecological impacts of longline tuna fishing in relation to sea mounts. IUCN is interested in the conservation aspects, exploring whether there are patterns in the amount and /or size of fish around seamounts and identifying possible spawning or aggregation sites.
The project involves:
- Interviewing pelagic longline fishermen regarding methods, gear and strategies for fishing on sea mounts;
- Reviewing the status of understanding of conservation issues and convening a technical workshop to discuss the status of knowledge management issues (planned for Oct 2009);
- Conducting outreach with relevant stakeholders including national governments and longline industries;
- Preparing an information paper outlining possible management techniques for longline fishing vessels