The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),
GIVEN that following Article XI of the Agreement for the establishment of the IOTC, Contracting Parties agree to provide statistical and other data and information that the Commission may need for the purposes of this Agreement and that nominal catch data, Catch and effort data, size data and fish aggregating devices data should be submitted annually to the IOTC Secretariat by 30 June the year following the fishing activities;
RECALLING Resolutions by IOTC on the Deadlines, Procedures for Data Submission and Statistical Reporting Obligations, notably Resolutions 15/02, 15/01, 14/05, 12/04, 10/11 [superseded by Resolution 16/09], 11/04, 10/08 and 01/06;
RECOGNISING that funding is available from the Commission for developing CPCs to improve their data collection and submission capabilities;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that the Scientific Committee (IOTC–2015–SC18–R) noted with concern the lack of information submitted by CPCs on total catches, catch and effort and size data for various IOTC species, despite their mandatory reporting status, and requested that CPCs comply with IOTC data requirements, 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;
CONSIDERING that the Scientific Committee recommended that the Commission develop penalty mechanisms through the IOTC Compliance Committee to improve compliance by CPCs that do not currently comply with the submission of basic fishery data requirements as stated in Resolutions 15/01 and 15/02;
NOTING that incomplete reporting or no data reporting and that, despite the adoption of numerous measures intended to address the matter, lack of compliance with reporting obligations is still a problem for the Scientific Committee and for the Commission;
NOTING that Several stocks remain not assessed and some others are assessed with substantial uncertainty, which lead to important risks of depletion of some IOTC species and negative impact in the ecosystem;
FURTHER NOTING that, in order that all IOTC fisheries should be managed in line with the principles of the precautionary approach, it is necessary to take measures aimed at eliminating or reducing non-reporting and misreporting;
ADOPTS in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article IX of the IOTC Agreement, that:
CPCs shall include information in their Annual Reports (Report of Implementation) on actions taken to implement their reporting obligations for all IOTC fisheries, including shark species caught in association with IOTC fisheries, in particular the steps taken to improve their data collection for direct and incidental catches.
Actions taken by CPCs, as described in paragraph 1, shall be reviewed annually by IOTC Compliance Committee.
Following the review carried out by the Compliance Committee, the Commission at its annual session, according to the guidelines attached (Annex I), and after having given due consideration to the relevant information provided by the concerned CPCs in these cases, may consider to prohibit CPCs that did not report nominal catch data (exclusively), including zero catches, for one or more species for a given year, in accordance with the Resolution 15/02, paragraph 2 (or any subsequent revision), from retaining such species as of the year following the lack or incomplete reporting until such data have been received by the IOTC Secretariat. Priority shall be given to situations of repeated non-compliance. Any CPC unable to meet these reporting obligations owing to engagement in civil conflict shall be exempt from this measure. The CPC concerned will work with the IOTC Secretariat to identify and implement possible alternative methods for data collection, using established FAO data collection methods.