IMO Member states
in the Pacific Region were part of an active discussion exploring the national
and regional benefits of ratifying and implementing the 2012 Cape Town
Agreement (CTA), which aims to boost safety for fishing vessels and their crew.
The event was the
latest in a series of virtual webinars aimed at engaging decision-makers from
maritime administrations and fishery authorities on the topic, and was
organized in cooperation with the Pew Charitable Trusts, Pacific Regional
Environment Programme (SPREP) and Pacific Community (SPC) Secretariats.
Lack of an effective internationally binding regulatory regime, bad
for the safety of the fishing industry
Westwood-Booth, Senior deputy director for IMO's Maritime Safety Division said,
"While a number of factors may have contributed to the bad safety record
of the fishing industry, there can be no doubt that the lack of an effective
internationally binding regulatory regime for the safety of fishing vessels
plays a significant part.
Cape Town Agreement will provide a much-needed mandatory regulatory framework
for the safety of fishers, help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated
(IUU) fishing, and create more sustainable working conditions in the sector.
Upon entry into force, the IMO agreement will act as an additional legislative
pillar, supporting the important measures in place via the STCW-F Convention,
ILO's Work in Fishing Convention and FAO's Agreement on Port State
Measures," he added when opening the webinar.
The 2012 Cape Town Agreement sets out minimum safety standards for
The 2012 Cape Town
Agreement sets out minimum safety standards for vessels of 24-meters in length
and over that are flagged with a contracting State. It will come into force 12
months after being ratified by at least 22 States, with an aggregate 3,600
fishing vessels meeting the length requirements operating on the high seas. It
has 16 Parties to date.
important issues, the webinar attendees were given insight into the major
principles of the Agreement, ratification process, the effects of fisheries
management policies on fishing safety, benefits of ratifying the Agreement from
labour, insurance, search and rescue, and marine environment perspectives. The
webinar featured positive impacts of the Agreement on combatting Illegal,
Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
discussions took place with speakers from UN Specialized Agencies, Member
States and industry representatives, which were followed by question and answer
sessions with engaging discussions
Participants agreed a
statement encouraging States to become a party to the Cape Town Agreement.