The IOTC Scientific Committee has REQUESTED that all CPCs without an NPOA-Sharks and/or NPOA-Seabirds expedite the development and implementation of a NPOA, and to report progress to the WPEB and SC, recalling that NPOA-Sharks are a framework that should facilitate estimation of shark catches, and development and implementation of appropriate management measures, which should also enhance the collection of bycatch data and compliance with IOTC Resolutions.
At its 18th Session the Commission NOTED the updated status of development and implementation of National Plans of Action for seabirds and sharks, and the implementation of the FAO guidelines to reduce marine turtle mortality in fishing operations, by each CPC, as provided in the Scientific Committee report and AGREED with the request from the Scientific Committee that all CPCs without an NPOA-Sharks and/or NPOA-Seabirds expedite their development and implementation.
You can consult the most recent updated Table of progress in implementing NPOA-Sharks, NPOA-Seabirds and the FAO Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations.
In 1999, member countries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) developed the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA–Sharks; FAO 1999). The IPOA–Sharks suggests that members develop a National Plan of Action if their vessels conduct targeted fishing for sharks or if they regularly catch sharks in fisheries targeting other species.
The IPOA-Sharks (FAO 1999) has the objective, “to ensure the conservation and management of sharks and their long-term sustainable use” and prescribes the following aims:
The IPOA Sharks requires each member nation that take shark in their fisheries to prepare a shark assessment report (SAR) with the aim of identifying conservation, management and any other issues associated with the shark catch. If necessary, these issues can then be addressed in a NPOA-Sharks. The SAR is to be updated regularly to report the status of shark stocks as assessments are made and to identify gaps in knowledge. The NPOA-Sharks requires collection and ongoing synthesis of compatible data at the appropriate resolution, including inter alia commercial data and data leading to improved species identification and, eventually, abundance indices.
The shark data collected by IOTC CPCs for trans-boundary, highly migratory and high seas shark stocks should be done through international collaboration and data sharing systems and all shark data should be made available to relevant subregional and regional fisheries organisations, and the FAO (IPOA-Sharks 1999).
In 1998, member countries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) developed the International Plan of Action for reducing incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries (IPOA–Seabirds; FAO 1998). The IPOA–Seabirds suggests that members develop should conduct an assessment of their longline fisheries to determine if a problem exists with respect to incidental catch of seabirds. If a problem exists, States should adopt a National Plan of Action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries.
The original purpose of the FAO NPOA-Seabirds was to address concerns about longline fishing. However, recent information has shown significant concerns about seabird bycatch in several other capture fisheries, especially gillnet fishing. The 2009 FAO Best Practice Technical Guidelines (FAO 2009a), developed to assist in the preparation of NPOA-Seabirds, explicitly includes advice on longline, trawl and gillnet fisheries.
At the 26th FAO–COFI Session in March 2005, the Guidelines to Reduce Sea Turtle Mortality in Fishing Operations (FAO 2009b), were adopted. Following adoption of ‘the guidelines’, it was recommended that they be implemented by all regional fisheries bodies and management organisations;
Subsequently, the IOTC adopted legally binding text within a Resolution, that all CPCs of the Commission implement ‘the guidelines’ (in Resolution 09/06 which was superseded by Resolution 12/04).