The high seas regions of the central Pacific Ocean are those not included in any nation's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The boundaries of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia created pockets of ocean outside of national waters, regulated instead generally by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). These open ocean spaces contain many populations of migratory species, including endangered sharks and sought after tuna, and as a result the area has been named a Hope Spot by Mission Blue.
Unfortunately, high seas areas are notoriously hard to regulate as regulations are complicated and enforcement is difficult. There have been several efforts to protect parts of this region over the last decade, particularly to reduce pressure on overexploited species of tuna. WCPFC closed two "bubbles" of open ocean to purse seine fishing in 2008, but has since removed the regulations. More recent measures have been put into place by provide little protection for these high seas. More effective control over illegal fishing is also needed to ensure that management measures are upheld. The Pew Charitable Trusts is one group actively working towards better protection.