Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations.
Literally thousands of fishers lose their lives at sea each year. An
international treaty addressing safety in the fishing industry (the Cape Town
Agreement) has been developed and adopted through IMO but is not yet in force
because it lacks sufficient ratification at national level.
As part of a major global effort to encourage
ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Agreement, IMO and The Pew
Charitable Trusts organised a roundtable event during the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
(13 September) says an IMO release.
IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety provides a solid platform
for improving fishers’ safety at sea and combating illegal, unreported and
unregulated (IUU) fishing by facilitating better control of fishing vessel
safety by flag, port and coastal States. It currently has 10 Contracting
States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of
aggregate fishing vessels.
Panellists at the roundtable highlighted the need for
a global, fishing vessel safety agreement to be in force. Participants
confirmed that the Cape Town Agreement would make a significant contribution to
safety in the fishing industry, and could also support the FAO’s 2009 Agreement
on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and
Unregulated Fishing (PSMA). The Russian fishing industry supported Russia’s
ratification of the Cape Town Agreement, and it was agreed that a roadmap to
ratification and implementation would be developed.
The roundtable, entitled "Course for 2050: The
safety of fishermen and fishing vessels" was organized in cooperation with
the Russian Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO). It was attended by representatives of IMO, FAO, the Russian
Federation’s Ministry of Transport and Federal Agency for Fisheries, The Pew
Charitable Trusts and the fishing industry. IMO was represented by Mikhail
The Cape Town Agreement is one of four important
treaties for the fishing sector which are aimed at achieving higher levels of
safety and better compliance and enforcement. These are IMO’s 2012 Cape Town
Agreement (not yet in force); IMO’s STCW-F Convention on training of fishers
(which entered into force in 2012); ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention 2007
(Convention No. 188) (in force since November 2017); and FAO’s Agreement on
Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and
Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), 2009 (entered into force in 2016).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the
need for effective communication between fisheries and transport ministries in
order to achieve ratification of the Cape Town Agreement.