The Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) is home to the world’s largest, most valuable tuna fisheries (Hanich and Tsamenyi, 2010; Harley et al., 2014; Hunt, 2003; Langley et al., 2009; Parris, 2010; Parris and Grafton, 2006) and forms the backbone of the Pacific region’s economy and culture (Chand, Grafton, and Petersen, 2003; Hanich and Tsamenyi, 2009). For distant water fishing nations (DWFN), the exploitation of tuna (Thunnini, Scombroidei) species for commercial purposes dates to the early 1900s. Liberalisation of trade policies, coupled with intensified utilisation of marine resources as a consequence of fisheries industrialisation, has increased socio-economic, political and environmental pressures in the Pacific and presents challenges to sustainable development (Pilling et al., 2015). Tuna fisheries in the WCPO exemplify the challenges to governing scarce fugitive resources where social, cultural and economic values are highly politicised, and tuna biology disrupts political and economic attempts to govern.