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Report of the Eighteenth Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission









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    Report of the Ninth Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch 2013
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    The Ninth Session of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission‘s (IOTC) Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB) was held in La Reunion, France, from 12 to 16 September 2013. A total of 32 participants (48 in 2012) attended the Session. The meeting was opened by Mr Ludovic Courtois, Secrétaire général du Comité régiol des pêches maritimes et des élevages marins (CRPMEM) de La Réunion, who welcomed participants to La Reunion and formally opened the Ninth Session of the IOTC Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch. The Chair, Dr. Charles Anderson also subsequently welcomed participants to La Reunion, including the Invited Expert, Dr. Ronel Nel, from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Employment of a Fisheries Officer NOTING the rapidly increasing scientific workload at the IOTC Secretariat, including a wide range of additiol duties on ecosystems and bycatch assigned to it by the SC and the Commission, and that the new Fishery Officer (Science) supporting the IOTC scientific activities has not been given a mandate by the Commission to work on ecosystems and bycatch matters, the WPEB strongly RECOMMENDED that the Commission approve the hiring of a Fishery Officer (Bycatch) to work on bycatch matters in support of the scientific process. (para.12) Regiol observer scheme The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Compliance Committee and Commission consider how to address the lack of implementation of regiol observer schemes by CPCs for their fleets and reporti ng to the IOTC Secretariat as per the provision of Resolution 11/04 on a Regiol Observer Scheme, noting the update provided in Appendix VI. (para.35) The WPEB RECOMMENDED that as a priority, the IOTC Secretariat should immediately commence work with CPCs that are yet to develop and implement a Regiol Observer Scheme that would meet the requirements contained in Resolution 11/04, and provide an update at the next session of the WPEB. (para.37) Training for CPCs having gillnet fleets on species id entification, bycatch mitigation and data collection methods and also to identify other potential sources of assistance – Development of plans of action The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Commission allocate funds in its 2014 and 2015 budgets for the IOTC Secretariat to carry out training for CPCs having gillnet fleets on bycatch mitigation methods, species identification, and data collection methods (budget estimate: Table 4). (para.64) Ecological Risk Assessment: review of current knowledge and pot ential magement implications The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Commission note the list of the 10 most vulnerable shark species to longline gear (Table 7) and purse seine gear (Table 8) in the Indian Ocean, as determined by a productivity susceptibility alysis, compared to the list of shark species/groups required to be recorded for each gear, contained in Resolution 13/03 on the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence. At the next revision to Resolution 13/03 , the Commission may wish to add the missing species/groups of sharks and rays. (para.123) Review of data needs and way forward for the evaluation of shark stocks NOTING that Resolution 10/02 mandatory statistical requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties (CPC's), makes provision for data to be reported to the IOTC on ?the most commonly caught shark species and, where possible, to the less common shark species?, without giving any list defining the most common and le ss common species, and recognising the general lack of shark data being recorded and reported to the IOTC Secretariat, the WPEB RECOMMENDED that Resolution 10/02 is revised in order to include the list of most commonly caught elasmobranch species (Table 10) for which nomil catch data shall be reported as part of the statistical requirement for IOTC CPCs. (para.138) Review of Resolution 12/04 on the conservation of marine turtles The WPEB RECOMMENDED that at the next revision of IOTC Resolution 1 2/04 on the conservation of marine turtles, the measure is strengthened to ensure that where possible, CPCs report annually on the total estimated level of incidental catches of marine turtles, by species, as provided at Table 12. (para.168) Resolution 10/02 Mandatory statistical [reporting] requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties (CPCs) NOTING that Resolution 10/02 does not make provisions for data to be reported to the IOTC on marine turtles, the WPEB RECOMMENDED that Resolution 10/02 is revised in order to make the reporting requirements coherent with those stated in Resolution 12/04 on the conservation of marine turtles and Resolution 13/03 on On the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence. (para.169) Format of future WPEB Sessions The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the following: (para.253) ? The WPEB DISCUSSED the future format in order to focus the efforts of scientists working on different groups of bycat ch species to address more efficiently, the mandate of the group. ? The WPEB CONSIDERED a range of options which the SC is asked to consider: o Option 1: The current WPEB be split into two; A dedicated Working Party on Sharks (WPS) and a Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (WPEB). o Option 2: Retaining the WPEB in its current form, with alterting focus of sharks in one year, followed by other ecosystem and bycatch issues in the next year. o Option 3: Maintaining the WPEB with clear guideline s to deal with sharks every year, as well as other issues and bycatch groups in alterte years or as required. ? The WPEB AGREED that shark issues were important to address on a yearly basis. Election of a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the next biennium The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the SC note the new Chairperson, Dr. Rui Coelho (EU,Portugal) and Vice- Chairperson, Dr. Evgeny Romanov (La Réunion), of the WPEB for the next biennium. (para.263) Report of the Ninth Session of the Working Party o n Ecosystems and Bycatch The WPEB RECOMMENDED that the Scientific Committee consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from WPEB09, provided at Appendix XXI, as well as the magement advice provided in the draft resource stock status summary for each of the seven shark species, as well of those for marine turtles and seabirds: (para.265) Sharks o Blue sharks (Prioce glauca) – Appendix X o Oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) – Appendix XI o Scalloped hammerhead sharks ( Sphyr lewini) – Appendix XII o Shortfin mako sharks (Isurus oxyrinchus) – Appendix XIII o Silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) – Appendix XIV o Bigeye thresher sharks (Alopias superciliosus) – Appendix XV o Pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) – Appendix XVI Other species/groups o Marine turtles – Appendix XVII o Seabirds – Appendix XVIII A summary of the stock status for some of the most commonly caught shark species caught in association with IOTC fisheries for tu and tu-like species is provided in Table 1.
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    Report of the Eleventh Session of the Compliance Committee 2014
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    The Eleventh Session of the Compliance Committee (CoC) of the Indian Ocean Tu Commission (IOTC) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from the 26–28 May 2014. The welcome address was given by the Director General of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Mr. Nimal Hettiarachchi, Sri Lanka. The meeting was opened by the Chair, Mr. Herminio Tembe (Mozambique). A total of 122 delegates attended the Session, composed of 96 delegates from 25 Contracting Parties (Members) of the Commission, 1 del egate from 1 of the 2 Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties and 16 delegates from 7 Observers (including 9 invited experts). (para. 2) The CoC RECALLED that the purpose of the meeting is to strengthen compliance amongst Members, i.e. Contracting Parties, and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) by firstly reviewing progress made during the 2013/2014 intersessiol period, identifying outstanding issues of non-compliance as well identifying the challenges and difficulties that each CPC and not ably developing coastal States are facing in enforcing and complying with IOTC Conservation and Magement Measures (CMMs), and filly to encourage such improvement during the next intersessiol period. The following are a subset of the complete recommendations from the CoC11 to the Commission, which are provided at Appendix IX. Identification of possible infringements under the Regiol observer programme (para. 69) The CoC RECOMMENDED that those CPCs identified in paper IOTC–2014–CoC11–08c Rev_1 and Add_1, a summary of possible infractions of IOTC regulations by large-scale fishing vessels (LSTLVs/carrier vessels), which have not submitted any response to the Committee investigate and report back to the IOTC via the Secretariat, the findings of their investigations, within three months of the end of the 18th Session of the Commission, by submitting reports on the follow-up on the irregularities identified. In order to assist with the comprehensive evaluation of any alleged infringement, co pies of the logbooks, VMS plots, licenses and any other relevant documents should be provided by the flag States, as necessary. Review of options for a regiol high-seas boarding and inspection scheme for the IOTC area (para. 110) The CoC RECOMMENDED the creation of either an informal, inter-sessiol working group to discuss further the ‘Regiol high-seas boarding and inspection scheme’ involving interested CPCs, or via the proposed Working Party on Compliance (IOTC–2014–S18–PropQ), if adopted by t he Commission, in order to develop the guideline further and subsequent proposal for a Conservation and Magement Measure. If a separate working group is formed, then the group should meet, to the extent possible, via electronic means to minimise costs. (para. 113) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all CPCs inform fishing vessel owners, companies and agents of the advisability of reporting intention to transit through another CPCs waters, and to provide details of the reporting formats, such as that for U K(OT) contained in Circular 2013–51. (para. 114) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all CPCs inform fishing vessel owners, companies and agents of the requirements to comply with IOTC CMMs and to include this within terms and conditions of licencing and fisheries legislation. (para. 115) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all IOTC coastal State enforcement bodies consider completing a common ‘Reporting Form for Activity Not Compliant with IOTC Resolutions’ for any inspections carried out on board vessels in transit through their waters, and report a summary of this to IOTC Secretariat for the CoC, at least annually. (para. 116) The CoC RECOMMNEDED that as part of its review and consolidation of IOTC CMMs the Commission should revise all relevant CMMs such that they apply to any vessel, irrespective of its size, registered on the IOTC Record of Vessels which operate in the IOTC area of competence and which fish outside their tiol fisheries jurisdiction for species covered by the IOTC Agreement. Activities by the Secretariat in Support of Capacity Building for Developing CPCs (para. 129) The CoC RECOMMENDED that the Commission consider its continued support of the work of the Secretariat in 2014/15, to allow it to undertake additiol capacity building missions to improve the implementation of CMMs by IOTC Members, and to consider further developing the plan of work for 2014/15. Adoption of the Report of the 11th Session of the Compliance Committee (para. 145) The CoC RECOMMENDED that the Commission consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from CoC11, provided at Appendix IX.   
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    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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