The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC),
AWARE that the Commission is committed to adopt Conservation and Management Measures to reduce juvenile Bigeye tuna and Yellowfin tuna mortalities from fishing effort on Aggregating Devices;
RECALLING that the objective of the IOTC Agreement is to ensure, through appropriate management, the conservation and optimum utilisation of stocks covered by the mentioned Agreement and encouraging sustainable development of fisheries based on such stocks and minimising the level of bycatch;
RECOGNISING that all gears deployed to target resources under the competence of IOTC should be managed to ensure the sustainability of fishing operations;
MINDFUL of the call upon States, either individually, collectively or through regional fisheries management organisations and arrangements 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 large-scale fish aggregating devices and others, as appropriate, 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 marine turtles;
RECALLING that The Rome Consensus on World Fisheries adopted by the FAO Ministerial Conference on Fisheries, Rome, 14–15 March 1995, provides that “States should [...] reduce bycatches, fish discards...”;
ADOPTS, in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article IX of the IOTC Agreement, that:
Fishing vessels and other vessels including support, supply and auxiliary vessels flying the flag of an IOTC Contracting Party or Cooperating Non-Contracting Party (collectively CPCs) are prohibited from using, installing or operating surface or submerged artificial lights for the purpose of aggregating tuna and tuna-like species beyond territorial waters. The use of lights on DFADs is also already prohibited.
CPCs shall prohibit their flagged vessels from intentionally conducting fishing activities around or near any vessel or DFAD equipped with artificial lights for the purpose of attracting tuna and tuna-like species under the mandate of the IOTC and in the IOTC area of competence.
DFADs equipped with artificial lights, which are encountered by fishing vessels operating in the IOTC area of competence, should as far as possible be removed and brought back to port.
Notwithstanding paragraph 1, CPCs whose fishing vessels currently use such artificial lights for the purpose of aggregating tuna and tuna-like species may continue to allow such vessels to use such lights until 31st December 2017. The CPC that wishes to apply this provision shall so report to the Secretariat within 120 days after the adoption of this resolution.
Navigation lights and lights necessary to ensure safe working conditions are not affected by this resolution.
This Resolution supersedes Resolution 15/07 On the use of artificial lights to attract fish to drifting fish aggregating devices.