The establishment of a Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science has been given the go-ahead by members.
The centre is to be hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea and will draw on the scientific and technical expertise across its various work programmes.
The SPC director general, Colin Tukuitonga, said it was a way to consolidate all the different types of research information and work to do with oceans that can all be easily accessible in one space.
"Tuna of course is the big one and we have been doing this work for some several decades now so that clearly needs to be a clear priority for us and the need to improve the way we monitor tuna stock. Better manager of coastal fisheries is a key one and the advice to members on the pluses and minuses of deep sea mineral mining and trying to complete the work we are doing on maritime boundaries."
Mr Tukuitonga said other things the centre would focus on included scientific research on coastal erosion, geohazards mapping for tsunami warnings and sea level rise.