Get Email Updates

Stay informed and learn about our action alerts and news sign up

Kobe III Meeting

Kobe iii  featured image galleyr

Why is NOAA Fisheries at Kobe III?

  1. International cooperation is essential for effective management of highly migratory species such as tunas, swordfish, sharks and billfish because these fish swim beyond U.S. waters and are caught by fishing vessels from many nations. 
  1. Commercial industries, recreational fishing communities, and billions of seafood consumers throughout the world are depending on the long-term sustainability of these stocks and the protection of their ecosystems. 
  1. Strong internationally-agreed guidelines will help ensure that regional fisheries management organizations make science-based decisions that address overfishing and maintain stocks at healthy levels.
  1. It is critical to continue developing more effective tools to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, so that legal and sustainable fishing operations are not disadvantaged in the global marketplace.
  1.  We will also seek to expand international collaboration in areas such as data collection within highly migratory species fisheries and efforts to reduced unintended impacts on the ecosystem.

Related Stories:

Meet Michael McGowan, tuna industry advocate
This month’s “Voices From theWaterfront” features Michael McGowan, of San Diego, who started fishing tuna as a captain of a high seas vessel in 1974 and worked his way up to be part-owner of 12 tuna fishing vessels and vice president for resourcing and government affairs at Bumble Bee Foods. More…

The Kobe III meeting brings together all five regional tuna fisheries management organizations from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and adjacent seas. These international organizations are charged with coordinating scientific research and developing conservation and management measures for highly migratory species, including tunas, swordfish, billfish and some sharks.  The organizations also take action to adopt measures to protect bycatch species such as sea turtles and seabirds.

News and Announcements

Administrator Lubchenco Opens Kobe III Meeting, Eric Schwaab Leads U.S. Delegation

June 15 2011: The United States joined more than 50 countries Thursday signing a recommendation to regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) to better track vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for tunas, swordfish, sharks and other highly migratory species. Annual global economic losses due to IUU fishing are estimated to be as high as $23 billion. More...

Administrator Lubchenco Opens Kobe III Meeting, Eric Schwaab Leads U.S. Delegation

June 12, 2011: NOAA Administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco made opening remarks today in front of more than 50 countries at the third joint meeting of the world’s regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) that are responsible for highly migratory species (tunas, swordfish, billfish and sharks) as well as bycatch.  Global cooperation is essential to the sustainability of these wide-ranging species, which are highly valued in commercial and recreational fisheries around the world. The meeting, known as “Kobe III” because it is the third in a series that began in Kobe, Japan, in 2007, is being hosted by the United States in La Jolla, Calif. June 12-14. NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, Eric Schwaab, is leading the U.S. delegation. NOAA deputy assistant administrator for international fisheries, Russell Smith, was elected Chair of the meeting. Initial discussions have addressed issues including bycatch and vessel capacity.

San Diego Tribune: Illegal fishing targeted by 50 nations This is the Exit Disclaimer icon

What is the Kobe Process?

The “Kobe process” refers to a series of joint meetings intended to streamline and coordinate the work of the five tuna RFMOs: Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT).  The United States is a member of ICCAT, IATTC, WCPFC, and is an observer at IOTC.   

2007: Kobe I: At the first meeting in Kobe, Japan, parties agreed to a “Course of Action” and identified key areas and challenges, including data sharing, fleet capacity controls, steps to ensure compliance and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, performance reviews of RFMOs, implementation of precautionary andecosystem approaches to fisheries management, support for developing states, and harmonization of trade tracking programs, among others.

2009: Kobe II: The second Joint Meeting was held in San Sebastian, Spain.  The course of actions from Kobe II included the implementation of a user-friendly strategy matrix for fisheries managers that clearly articulates risk and uncertainty across management options (i.e., allows managers to see the tradeoffs of a range of management options) often referred to as the Kobe II Strategy Matrix.

2011: Kobe III: Kobe III is taking place July 12-14, 2011, in La Jolla, Calif.   A key focus of this meeting will be the consideration of global tools to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.  It is also a critical opportunity for the United States and its international partners to reach agreement on methods and approaches for implementing science-based management, improving the coordination of data collection and monitoring programs, and encouraging the use of fishing practices that reduce bycatch. 

Background Information and Discussion Documents This is the Exit Disclaimer icon

Are tuna and swordfish stocks healthy, or overfished? Visit FishWatch for current scientific and management information.