Mauritius to host Southern Indian Ocean countries meet; mull surveillance issues
The EU will develop a discussion paper on the process for listing vessels suspected of conducting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the SIOFA Area. (Image: Wikipedia)
The second meeting of parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) will be held in Mauritius in March 2015, with the aim of ensuring the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources through joint cooperation.
Moreover, intersessional discussions on the development of monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) measures will be led by the European Union. The EU will develop a discussion paper on the process for listing vessels suspected of conducting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the SIOFA Area.
It was agreed that this paper should consider establishing mechanisms to identify vessels authorised to operate in the SIOFA Area, including the establishment of a SIOFA registry of authorised vessels.
It will be an opportunity for party members to promote the sustainable development of fishery resources in the areas of application of the agreement while taking into account the needs of Developing States bordering the area, and, in particular, the least developed and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Additionally, the meeting would also serve as a platform to discuss issues relating to the rules of procedures, scientific committee meetings, deep-sea fisheries management, the state-of-the-art techniques in the conservation and sustainable use of deep-sea fisheries, and lessons learnt from contracting parties’ experience in fisheries resource management.
The Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement seeks to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources other than tuna in areas that fall outside national jurisdictions.
For Mauritius, as the host country, the meeting will be an opportunity to further explore and innovate its fisheries and ocean sector as the government emphasises on developing and enhancing this promising sector as part of its economic development programme for 2015-19.
It may be noted that the first meeting of parties to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement was held in Australia, Melbourne in 2013.