The Forum Fisheries Agency hopes this week in Tonga to advance an agreement designed to curb a rise in illegal fishing in the Pacific.
The regional body hopes to draft an agreement to put a stop to boats fishing in restricted waters and fishermen catching species of fish which they shouldn't.
Radio Tonga reports the agreement is expected to go to Forum leaders later this year.
The FFA's lawyer, Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, says the annual value of the region's illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing amounts to more than seven hundred million US dollars, so it represents a significant loss.
Dr Tupou-Roosen says a legal agreement would allow them to protect the fisheries and ensure the sustainability of the resource for the benefit for Pacific peoples.