The Eleventh Session of the Compliance Committee (CoC) of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from the 26–28 May 2014. The welcome address was given by the Director General of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Mr. Nimal Hettiarachchi, Sri Lanka. The meeting was opened by the Chair, Mr. Herminio Tembe (Mozambique). A total of 122 delegates attended the Session, composed of 96 delegates from 25 Contracting Parties (Members) of the Commission, 1 delegate from 1 of the 2 Cooperating Non- Contracting Parties and 16 delegates from 7 Observers (including 9 invited experts).
(para. 2) The CoC RECALLED that the purpose of the meeting is to strengthen compliance amongst Members, i.e. Contracting Parties, and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties (CPCs) by firstly reviewing progress made during the 2013/2014 intersessional period, identifying outstanding issues of non-compliance as well identifying the challenges and difficulties that each CPC and notably developing coastal States are facing in enforcing and complying with IOTC Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs), and finally to encourage such improvement during the next intersessional period.
The following are a subset of the complete recommendations from the CoC11 to the Commission, which are provided at Appendix IX.
Identification of possible infringements under the Regional observer programme
(para. 69) The CoC RECOMMENDED that those CPCs identified in paper IOTC–2014–CoC11–08c Rev_1 and Add_1, a summary of possible infractions of IOTC regulations by large-scale fishing vessels (LSTLVs/carrier vessels), which have not submitted any response to the Committee investigate and report back to the IOTC via the Secretariat, the findings of their investigations, within three months of the end of the 18th Session of the Commission, by submitting reports on the follow-up on the irregularities identified. In order to assist with the comprehensive evaluation of any alleged infringement, copies of the logbooks, VMS plots, licenses and any other relevant documents should be provided by the flag States, as necessary.
Review of options for a regional high-seas boarding and inspection scheme for the IOTC area
(para. 110) The CoC RECOMMENDED the creation of either an informal, inter-sessional working group to discuss further the ‘Regional high-seas boarding and inspection scheme’ involving interested CPCs, or via the proposed Working Party on Compliance (IOTC–2014–S18–PropQ), if adopted by the Commission, in order to develop the guideline further and subsequent proposal for a Conservation and Management Measure. If a separate working group is formed, then the group should meet, to the extent possible, via electronic means to minimise costs.
(para. 113) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all CPCs inform fishing vessel owners, companies and agents of the advisability of reporting intention to transit through another CPCs waters, and to provide details of the reporting formats, such as that for UK(OT) contained in Circular 2013–51.
(para. 114) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all CPCs inform fishing vessel owners, companies and agents of the requirements to comply with IOTC CMMs and to include this within terms and conditions of licencing and fisheries legislation.
(para. 115) The CoC RECOMMENDED that all IOTC coastal State enforcement bodies consider completing a common ‘Reporting Form for Activity Not Compliant with IOTC Resolutions’ for any inspections carried out on board vessels in transit through their waters, and report a summary of this to IOTC Secretariat for the CoC, at least annually.
(para. 116) The CoC RECOMMNEDED that as part of its review and consolidation of IOTC CMMs the Commission should revise all relevant CMMs such that they apply to any vessel, irrespective of its size, registered on the IOTC Record of Vessels which operate in the IOTC area of competence and which fish outside their national fisheries jurisdiction for species covered by the IOTC Agreement.
Activities by the Secretariat in Support of Capacity Building for Developing CPCs
(para. 129) The CoC RECOMMENDED that the Commission consider its continued support of the work of the Secretariat in 2014/15, to allow it to undertake additional capacity building missions to improve the implementation of CMMs by IOTC Members, and to consider further developing the plan of work for 2014/15.
Adoption of the Report of the 11th Session of the Compliance Committee
(para. 145) The CoC RECOMMENDED that the Commission consider the consolidated set of recommendations arising from CoC11, provided at Appendix IX.