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Improving Data to Support the Sustainable and Equitable Management of Ecosystems and Natural Resources in the Indian Ocean - GCP/INT/322/EC








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    Project
    Improving Developing Countries’ Compliance with IOTC Conservation and Management Measures - GCP/INT/304/EC 2020
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    The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for the management of tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean. It aims to promote cooperation among the Contracting Parties (Members) and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (collectively referred to as CPCs) of the IOTC, with a view to ensuring, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilization of stocks covered by the organization’s establishing Agreement, and to encourage sustainable development of fisheries based on such stocks. The proposed actions of this project were related to the implementation of Article X of the IOTC Agreement and the IOTC’s Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs), which the beneficiary countries continue to have difficulties implementing. The primary objective of the project was to strengthen the ability of fisheries administrations of IOTC developing coastal States CPCs to meet their obligations to sustainably manage the fish stocks under the mandate of the IOTC. The project focused on IOTC CPCs.
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    IOTC / IOSEA reports give insights into Indian Ocean fisheries-turtle interactions 2013
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    The Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC) is the main regiol fisheries magement organisation mandated to mage tu and tu-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas. While its primary objective is to assure the conservation and optimum utilisation of fish stocks, the IOTC has paid increasing attention in recent years to the impacts of its fisheries on other marine species, such as marine turtles, seabirds and sharks. IOSEA and IOTC have developed a good working relationship, which has included collaboration in the production of regular status reports on marine turtles, the development of turtle ID cards for fishermen and, most recently, co-funding of the production of a region-wide Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) for marine turtles. Membership of IOTC is open to coastal countries and to countries or regiol economic integration organisations that are fishing for tu in the Indian Ocean. There is a substantial overlap in the respective memberships of IOTC and IOSEA. Indeed, twenty-thre e of the 31 IOTC Contracting Parties and two Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (collectively known as CPCs) are also sigtories to IOSEA. Many are also members of the Convention on Migratory Species, the parent organisation of IOSEA. This might help to explain, in part, why IOTC has been receptive to substantive discussions about fisheries interactions with non-target migratory species. The annual meeting of the IOTC Scientific Committee includes on its agenda a presentation and review of tiol reports submitted by CPCs.1 These reports cover such topics as: background/general fishery information, fleet structure, catch and effort by species and gear, recreatiol fishery, ecosystem and bycatch issues, tiol data collection and processing systems, tiol research programmes, and implementation of IOTC recommendations and resolutions relevant to the Scientific Committee. These reports are a rich source of information on fisheries potentially interacting with marine turtles in the Indian Ocean , as well as on monitoring programmes and bycatch mitigation measures that may have been implemented by IOTC members. They include, for example, data on the size and coverage of longline and purse seine fleets, as well as trends in fishing effort and shifts in the geographic distribution of fishing fleets. Such information could eventually be useful in helping to identify areas where marine turtles may be more or less prone to interactions with fisheries. The reports also contain information tha t may be used to assess the extent of compliance with various IOTC resolutions and recommendations pertaining to mitigation of marine turtle bycatch. Incidentally, the reports also contain some data on the incidence of turtle bycatch, however this aspect is generally incomplete and based on very limited observation and reporting. Indeed, the IOTC Scientific Committee has expressed concern in the past “that the lack of data from Contracting Parties and cooperating non-contracting Parties (CPCs) o n the interactions and mortality of marine turtles from fisheries under the mandate of the IOTC undermines the ability to estimate levels of turtle bycatch and consequently IOTC’s capacity to respond and mage adverse effects of fishing on marine turtles”. Until now, the IOTC tiol reports have never been alysed systematically from the standpoint of assessing their potential contribution to the understanding of marine turtle bycatch in the Indian Ocean and of the efficacy of bycatch mitigation mea sures undertaken by IOTC members. The following alysis does just that, by compiling and summarising information from all of the tiol reports submitted to the 15th Scientific Committee meeting held in Seychelles in December 2012.
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    Meeting
    Report of the Fourteenth Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission 2010
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    The 14th Session of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC) was held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 1 to 5 March 2010. Representatives of 19 Members of the Commission, two Cooperating non-Contracting Parties, FAO, eight Observers and invited experts attended the Session. In response to concerns about the status of the stocks, the Commission adopted a conservation and magement action by which a time-area closure is established for purse-seine and longline fisheries, and a plan of action is start ed that will lead to the adoption of a quota or other appropriate conservation measure by 2012. The plan of action includes a feasibility study on improving data collection from artisal fisheries, and an inter-sessiol technical meeting to adopt recommendations on allocation criteria for a quota system. Magement advice is to be supplied by the Scientific Committee in a way that allows magers to assess the risks and benefits of different magement actions. The Commission also adopted a binding reso lution establishing a Port State measure, with provisions almost identical to the global Port State Agreement recently adopted by the FAO Council. The Commission also agreed to establish a mechanism for applying market-related measures against Parties that have engaged in activities undermining the objectives of the Commission. The issue of lack of compliance by Members, identified in the past as one of the major problems for IOTC, was addressed by the strengthening of the Compliance Committee, who will focus on the performance of individual Members, allowing it to identify Parties that are deficient in the implementation of IOTC resolutions. The Compliance Committee will have extended meetings to accommodate the additiol workload starting at its next Session. Combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing continued with a detailed review of several incidents of IUU involving vessels from member states, which resulted in new vessels being listed under the IUU list. The Com mission also adopted a measure that, for the first time among tu RFMOs, protects all shark species in the family Alopiidae, by notably by the retention onboard and prohibiting the commercialization of these vulnerable species. The Commission agreed to the creation of a special Fund to support the participation of representatives from developing states in meetings of the Commission or its subsidiary bodies. Accumulated savings from previous years are to be used as seed funding for this purpose, a s well as to start the execution of sampling programmes in artisal fisheries, as requested in the Regiol Observer Scheme adopted in 2009. The Commission reiterated its deep concerns and desire to see the end of the ongoing issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia. The Commission approved the 2010/11 Program of Work and Budget of the Secretariat, and the schedule of contributions. The Commission renewed the status of Cooperating non-Contracting Party of Senegal, South Africa and Uruguay, and, for the first time, granted the status to Maldives. The following measures were adopted by the Commission: - Resolution 10/01 For the conservation and magement of tropical tus stocks in the IOTC area of Competence - Resolution 10/02 On mandatory statistical requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) - Resolution 10/03 Concerning the recording of catch by fishing vessels in the IOTC area - Resolution 10/04 On a Regiol Observer Scheme - Resolution 10/05 On the Establ ishment of a Meeting Participation Fund for Developing IOTC Members and non-Contracting Cooperating Parties (CPCs) - Resolution 10/06 On reducing the incidental bycatch of seabirds in longline fisheries - Resolution 10/07 Concerning a record of licensed foreign vessels fishing for tus and swordfish in the IOTC area - Resolution 10/08 Concerning a record of active foreign vessels fishing for tus and swordfish in the IOTC area - Resolution 10/09 Concerning the functions of the Compliance Committee - Resolution 10/10 Concerning Market Related Measures - Resolution 10/11 On port state measures to prevent, deter and elimite illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing - Resolution 10/12 On the conservation of thresher sharks (family Alopiidae) caught in association with fisheries in the IOTC area of competence - Recommendation 10/13 On the implementation of a ban on discards of skipjack tu, yellowfin tu, bigeye tu, and non-targeted species caught by purse-seiners

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