Consultation Notice: VESS is assisting the Vanuatu Fisheries Department to update Vanuatu’s National Plan of Action for Seabirds, Sharks and Marine Turtles. As part of this piece of work we would like to invite members of the public to take a look at the draft plan and give everyone an opportunity to comment. We are particularly invested in making sure that we have included everything that the community needs to protect or sustainably manage these species, many of which are threatened with extinction.

Much of the plan relates to reducing by-catch in the commercial off-shore fisheries as it is an obligation to have a plan in place when members of the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO), as Vanuatu is. But in these new versions of the plan we have been tasked to make the plan more complete and cover actions to mitigate all threats to seabirds, sharks and marine turtles in all habitats they use, be it the pelagic ocean, the coastal areas or, in the case of seabirds and turtles, on land. 

VESS is holding a meeting on 10th August at Chantilly’s between 4 and 6pm. We will give a presentation on the new plan, then there will be an opportunity to ask questions and have discussions. Coffee and tea are available, other drinks can be purchased at the restaurant.

The draft plan is also available on our website. We can also receive feedback from you via email on Please send any feedback by Monday 14th August. The plan can be found here.

Please be advised that as plan is still in draft and not approved. Please do not circulate. Bear in mind that this version is a text only draft, the communications team will be working on the final presentation of the document once the wording is finalised by the Vanuatu Fisheries Department.

The review of the National Plan of Action for Seabirds, Sharks and Turtles is a key activity of the By-catch and Integrated Ecosystem Management (BIEM) Initiative of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme, funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden. The BIEM Initiative is being implemented in Vanuatu by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with Vanuatu government agencies and community partners.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) is the premiere intergovernmental regional environmental organisation of the Pacific, with 21 Pacific island Members and five metropolitan Members.  SPREP’s mandate is to promote cooperation in the Pacific region and provide assistance in order to protect and improve its environment and to ensure sustainable development for present and future generations.  SPREP’s core priorities are Climate Change Resilience, Ecosystem and Biodiversity Protection, Environmental Governance, and Waste Management and Pollution Control.  It is guided by its vision for the future: “A resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures.”  For more please visit

The Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme addresses some of the most serious challenges faced by the region. Among these are the increasing depletion of coastal fisheries resources; the threats to marine biodiversity, including negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters; the uneven contribution of oceanic fisheries to national economic development; the need for improved education and training in the fisheries sector; and the need to mainstream a rights-based approach and to promote greater recognition of gender issues within the sector.

This seven-year programme is funded by the European Union (EUR 35 million) and the government of Sweden (EUR 10 million). The programme provides direct assistance to regional organisations to support regional and national level activities in the Pacific. For more see