The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),
TAKING NOTE of the results of the Intersessional Meeting on an Integrated Control and inspection scheme, held in Yaizu, Japan, from 27 to 29 March, 2001;
RECOGNISING the value of satellite-based Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) for the Commission’s conservation and management programmes, including compliance;
RECOGNISING IOTC Resolution 02/02 [superseded by Resolution 06/03 and subsequently by Resolution 15/03] which called for the adoption of a pilot satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS) by 1st January 2004;
TAKING NOTE that the Resolution 02/02 [superseded by Resolution 06/03 and subsequently by Resolution 15/03] has allowed the progressive incorporation of these systems to accommodate Contracting Parties that lack sufficient capacity for immediate implementation at a national level;
RECOGNISING that this Resolution 02/02 [superseded by Resolution 06/03 and subsequently by Resolution 15/03] provides a process for developing States of the region to build the capacity to implement this Resolution;
AWARE that many Parties have established VMS systems and programmes for their fleets and that their experience may be very helpful in supporting the conservation and management programmes of the Commission;
ADOPTS in accordance with the provisions of Article IX paragraph 1 of the IOTC Agreement, that:
Each Contracting Party and Cooperating Non-Contracting Party (CPC) shall adopt a satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS) for all vessels flying its flag 24 metres in length overall or above or in case of vessels less than 24 meters, those operating in waters outside the Economic Exclusive Zone of the Flag State fishing for species covered by the IOTC Agreement within the IOTC area of competence.
Those CPCs currently without a VMS for any additional vessel now meeting the criteria for inclusion in the VMS obligation since Resolution 06/03 was superseded, as defined in paragraph 1 above, shall submit an implementation plan to the Compliance Committee in April 2016 that sets out a phased approach to full implementation of their national VMS obligation within a maximum of 3 years, i.e. by April 2019, with at least 50% of all qualifying vessels compliant by September 2017.
Any CPC with vessels not yet equipped with VMS as already required under Resolution 06/03 (or any subsequent superseding Resolution; superseded by Resolution 15/03) shall be required to fully implement its national VMS obligation within a maximum of 1 year, i.e. by April 2016 in respect of those vessels.
The Commission may establish guidelines for the registration, implementation and operation of VMS in the IOTC area of competence with a view to standardising VMS adopted by CPCs.
Information collected shall include:
a) the vessel identification;
b) the current geographical position of the vessel (longitude, latitude) with a position error which shall be less than 500 metres, at a confidence level of 99%; and
c) the date and time (expressed in UTC) of the fixing of the said position of the vessel.
Each CPC shall take the necessary measures to ensure that their land-based national Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) receives through the VMS the information required in paragraph 5, and that the FMC is equipped with computer hardware and software enabling automatic data processing and electronic data transmission. Each CPC shall provide for backup and recovery procedures in case of system failures.
Each CPC shall ensure that the information in paragraph 5 is transmitted to the FMC at least once every 4 hours. Each CPC shall ensure the masters of fishing vessels flying its flag ensure that the satellite tracking device(s) are at all times fully operational.
Each CPC as a Flag State shall ensure that the vessel monitoring device(s) on board its vessels are tamper resistant, that is, are of a type and configuration that prevent the input or output of false positions, and that they are not capable of being over-ridden, whether manually, electronically or otherwise. To this end, the on-board satellite monitoring device must:
a) be located within a sealed unit; and
b) be protected by official seals (or mechanisms) of a type that will indicate whether the unit has been accessed or tampered with.
The responsibilities concerning the satellite-tracking devices and requirements in case of technical failure or non-functioning of the satellite-tracking devices are established in Annex I.
Fishing vessels referred to in paragraph 1 which are not yet equipped with VMS shall report to their FMC at least daily by email, facsimile, telex, telephone message or radio. Such reports must include, inter alia, information required in paragraph 5 when transmitting the report, to their competent authorities, as well as:
a) the geographic position at the beginning of the fishing operation;
b) the geographic position at the end of the fishing operation.
CPCs that cannot fulfil the obligations as outlined in this Resolution shall report to the IOTC Secretariat (i) the systems and infrastructure and capabilities existing with respect to the implementation this Resolution, and (ii) the hindrances for implementation of such a system and (iii) requirements for implementation.
Each CPC shall provide to the IOTC Secretariat, by 30 June each year, a report on the progress and implementation of its VMS programme in accordance with this Resolution. The IOTC Secretariat shall compile reports prior to the annual Session of the Commission and present a report to the IOTC Compliance Committee. Based on these reports, the Commission will discuss how best to proceed with future consideration of VMS to support its Conservation and Management Measures.
CPCs are encouraged to extend the application of this Resolution to their fishing vessels not provided for in paragraph 1 if they consider this to be appropriate to ensure the effectiveness of IOTC Conservation and Management Measures.
Resolution 06/03 On establishing a Vessel Monitoring System Programme is superseded by this Resolution.