The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the need to increase the scientific information, in particular to provide the IOTC Scientific Committee working material in order to improve the management of the tuna and tuna-like species fished in the Indian Ocean;
REITERATING the responsibilities of Flag States to ensure that their vessels conduct their fishing activities in a responsible manner, fully respecting IOTC Conservation and Management Measures;
CONSIDERING the need for action to ensure the effectiveness of the IOTC objectives;
CONSIDERING the obligation of all IOTC Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (hereinafter CPCs) to fully comply with the IOTC Conservation and Management Measures;
AWARE of the necessity for sustained efforts by CPCs to ensure the enforcement of IOTC's Conservation and Management Measures, and the need to encourage Non-CPCs to abide by these measures;
UNDERLINING that the adoption of this measure is intended to promote the implementation of the Resolution 11/04 on a Regional Observer Scheme;
CONSIDERING the deliberations of the 18th Session of the IOTC Scientific Committee held in Bali, Indonesia from 23-27 November 2015, notably that CPCs should comply with IOTC data requirements as requested per Resolutions 15/01 and 15/02, respectively on the recording of catch and effort data by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence and on mandatory statistical reporting requirements for IOTC Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting parties (CPCs, given the gaps in available information in the IOTC database and the importance of basic fishery data in order to assess the status of stocks and for the provision of sound management advice.
ADOPTS, in accordance with the provisions of Article IX, paragraph 1 of the IOTC Agreement, the following:
Create a pilot project aiming to enhance the implementation of the Resolution 11/04 on a Regional Observer Scheme and to raise the level of compliance to the implementation of Resolutions 15/01 and 15/02, respectively on the recording of catch and effort data by fishing vessels in the IOTC area of competence and on mandatory statistical reporting requirements for IOTC Contracting Parties and Cooperating non-Contracting parties (CPCs).
This pilot project will be funded through IOTC budget and/or from voluntary contributions. The pilot project will be prepared taking into account the following elements:
a) Identification and selection of voluntary participatory Contracting Parties or Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs). Participatory CPCs should indicate their vessels that will participate in the project.
b) Terms of Reference (ToR) and selection of scientific observers, according to provisions of the Resolutions 11/04, 15/01 and 15/02.
c) Definition of an Action Plan for the observers work, including indicatively, a working calendar and an area of activity.
d) Mid-term review and a final term review, the latter should include recommendation on how to expand the experiences and results of the pilot project to all IOTC area of competence.
e) Cooperation coordination mechanism between CPCs participating in the project.
f) Complementarity with the Regional Observer Scheme actions already in place.
The IOTC Scientific Committee will draft guidelines regarding the ToR and work of observers, and an indicative budget for approval by the Commission in 2017. This project will focus on developing states, with priority given to promote the implementation of the ROS to small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDC).
Contracting Parties will provide their comments and suggestions within one month after the IOTC Executive Secretary transmission of the draft project, following the Scientific Committee.
The revised draft proposal, including a detailed budget, will be submitted to the Compliance Committee and to the Standing Committee on Administration and Finance for review, and submitted for consideration and approval at the annual meeting of the Commission in 2017.
The pilot project will explore the possibilities offered by electronic observation and observation in port.
The Scientific Committee will evaluate whether electronic observation or observation in port can be used to collect data matching IOTC standards. Scientific Committee will also propose minimum standards for the implementation of Electronic observation systems and how they can be used to increase levels of observer coverage for Indian Ocean fisheries.
The pilot project will not preclude any Regional Observer Scheme's actions already implemented by Contracting Parties or Cooperating non-Contracting Parties and respective fleets.