The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),
GIVEN that the Agreement for the implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA) encourages coastal States and fishing States on the high seas to collect and share, in a timely manner, complete and accurate data concerning fishing activities on, inter alia, vessel position, catch of target and non-target species and fishing effort;
NOTING that the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing provides that States should compile fishery-related and other supporting scientific data relating to fish stocks covered by subregional or regional fisheries management organisations and provide them in a timely manner to the organisation;
RECALLING the commitment made by Contracting Parties under Article V of the IOTC Agreement to keep under review the conditions and trends of the stocks and to gather, analyse and disseminate scientific information, catch and effort statistics and other data relevant to the conservation and management of the stocks and to fisheries based on the stocks covered by the Agreement;
COGNISANT that the above commitment can only be achieved when Contracting Parties meet the requirements of Article XI of the IOTC Agreement i.e. to provide statistical and other data and information to minimum specifications and in a timely manner;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the IOTC Scientific Committee has repeatedly stressed the importance of the timeliness of data submissions;
GIVEN that the activities of support vessels and the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) are an integral part of the fishing effort exerted by the purse seine fleet;
CONSIDERING the provisions set forth in Resolution 15/02 on mandatory statistical reporting requirements for IOTC Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs), adopted by the Commission in 2015;
NOTING the Scientific Committee’s concern that the lack of data from CPC fisheries under the mandate of the IOTC on the mortality of marine turtles and marine mammals undermines the ability to estimate levels of marine turtle and marine mammals bycatch and consequently the IOTC’s capacity to respond and prevent adverse effects of fishing on these marine species;
FURTHER NOTING the Scientific Committee’s concern about the impossibility to undertake assessments on the status of seabirds in the Indian Ocean, while acknowledging that some species are currently critically endangered, and that the lack of reporting of seabird interactions by CPCs seriously undermines the ability of IOTC to respond and prevent adverse effects of fishing on seabirds;
CONSIDERING the recommendations of the 17th Session of the IOTC Scientific Committee;
FURTHER CONSIDERING the call upon States, either individually, collectively or through regional fisheries management organisations and arrangements included in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 67/79 on sustainable fisheries to collect the necessary data in order to evaluate and closely monitor the use of fish aggregating devices and their effects on tuna resources and tuna behaviour and associated and dependent species, to improve management procedures to monitor the number, type and use of such devices and to mitigate possible negative effects on the ecosystem, including on juveniles and the incidental bycatch of non-target species, particularly sharks and turtles;
ADOPTS, in accordance with the provisions of Article IX, paragraph 1 of the IOTC Agreement, the following:
Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) shall provide the following information to the IOTC Secretariat according to the timelines specified in paragraph 7:
Total catch data:
Estimates of the total catch by species and gear, if possible quarterly, that shall be submitted annually as referred in paragraph 7 (separated, whenever possible, by retained catches in live weight and by discards in live weight or numbers) for all species under the IOTC mandate as well as the most commonly caught elasmobranch species according to records of catches and incidents as established in Resolution 15/01 on the recording of catch and effort data by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence (or any subsequent superseding Resolution).
Concerning cetaceans, seabirds and marine turtles data should be provided as stated in Resolution 13/04 on Conservation of Cetaceans, Resolution 12/06 on reduction the incidental bycatch of seabirds in longline fisheries and Resolution 12/04 on the conservation of marine turtles (or any subsequent superseding resolutions).
Catch and effort data:
a)For surface fisheries: catch weight by species and fishing effort shall be provided by 1° grid area and month strata. Purse seine and pole and line fisheries data shall be stratified by fishing mode (e.g. free swimming schools or schools in association with floating objects). The data shall be extrapolated to the total national monthly catches for each gear. Documents describing the extrapolation procedures (including raising factors corresponding to the logbook coverage) shall also be submitted routinely. Effort units reported should be consistent with those effort requirements of Resolution 15/01 (or any subsequent superseding revision).
b)Longline fisheries: catch by species, in numbers or weight, and effort as the number of hooks deployed shall be provided by 5° grid area and month strata. Documents describing the extrapolation procedures (including raising factors corresponding to the logbook coverage) shall also be submitted routinely. For the work of relevant working parties under the IOTC Scientific Committee, longline data should be of a resolution of 1° grid area and month or finer. These data would be for the exclusive use of IOTC Scientific Committee and its Working Parties, subject to the approval of the data owners and IOTC Resolution 12/02 Data confidentiality policy and procedures, and should be provided for scientific use only in a timely fashion. Effort units reported should be consistent with those effort requirements of Resolution 15/01 or any subsequent revision of such resolution.
c)For coastal fisheries: catches by species that shall be submitted annually as referred in paragraph 7, fishing gear and fishing effort shall be submitted frequently and may be provided using an alternative geographical area if it better represents the fishery concerned. Effort units reported should be consistent with those effort requirements of Resolution 15/01 (or any subsequent superseding revision).
Provisions on catch and effort data, applicable to tuna and tuna-like species, shall also be applicable to the most commonly caught elasmobranch species according to records of catches and incidents as established in Resolution 15/01 on the recording of catch and effort by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence (or any subsequent superseding Resolution).
 Longline fisheries: Fisheries undertaken by vessels in the IOTC Record of Authorized Vessels that use longline gear.
Surface fisheries: All fisheries undertaken by vessels in the IOTC Record of Authorized Vessels other than longline fisheries; in particular purse seine, pole-and-line, gillnet fisheries, handline and trolling vessels.
Coastal fisheries: Fisheries other than longline or surface, as defined above, also called artisanal fisheries.
Size data shall be provided for all gears and for all species according to paragraph 4 and following the guidelines set out by the procedures described in the Guidelines for the reporting of fisheries statistics to the IOTC. Size sampling shall be run under strict and well described random sampling schemes which are necessary to provide unbiased figures of the sizes taken. Sampling coverage shall be set to at least one fish measured by ton caught, by species and type of fishery, with samples being representative of all the periods and areas fished. Alternatively, size data for longline fleets may be provided as part of the Regional Observer Scheme where such fleets have at least 5% observer coverage of all fishing operations. Length data by species, including the total number of fish measured, shall be submitted by a 5° grid area by month, by gear and fishing mode (e.g. free swimming schools or schools in association with floating objects for the purse seiners). Documents covering sampling and raising procedures shall also be provided, by species and type of fishery.
Given that the activities of purse seine supply vessels and the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) are an integral part of the fishing effort exerted by the purse seine fleet, the following data shall be provided by CPCs:
a)The number and characteristics of purse seine supply vessels: (i) operating under their flag, (ii) assisting purse seine vessels operating under their flag, or (iii) licensed to operate in their exclusive economic zones, and that have been present in the IOTC area of competence;
b)Number of days at sea by purse seine and purse seine supply vessels by 1° grid area and month to be reported by the flag state of the supply vessel;
c) The total number set by the purse seine and purse seine supply vessels per quarter, as well as:
i. The positions, dates at the time of setting, FAD identifier and FAD type (i.e. drifting log or debris, drifting raft or fad with a net, drifting raft or FAD without a net, anchored FADs and other FADs e.g. Payao, dead animal etc.;
ii. The FAD design characteristics of each FAD (consistent with Annex 1 to Resolution 15/08 Procedures on a fishing aggregating devices (FADs) management Plan, including a limitation on the number of FADS, more detailed specifications of catch reporting from FAD sets, and the development of improved FAD designs to reduce the incidence of entanglement of non-target species).
These data would be for the exclusive use of IOTC Scientific Committee and its Working Parties, subject to the approval of the data owners and in accordance with Resolution 12/02 Data confidentiality policy and procedures, and should be provided in a timely fashion.
Timeliness of data submission to the IOTC Secretariat:
a) Longline fleets operating in the high seas shall provide provisional data for the previous year no later than 30 June. Final data shall be submitted no later than 30 December;
b) All other fleets (including supply vessels) shall submit their final data for the previous year no later than 30 June;
c) In case where the final statistics cannot be submitted by that date, at least preliminary statistics should be provided. Beyond a delay of two years, all revisions of historical data should be formally reported and duly justified. These reports should be made on forms provided by the IOTC Secretariat and reviewed by the IOTC Scientific Committee. The IOTC Scientific Committee will advise the IOTC Secretariat if revisions are then accepted for scientific use.
This Resolution supersedes Resolution 10/02 on mandatory statistical requirements for IOTC Members and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs).