SIOFA area of competence in the high seas. (Map Credit: FAO)
EC welcomes outcome of SIOFA's first meeting
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The European Commission (EC) has welcomed the outcome of the first meeting of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) held in Melbourne, Australia. Several key decisions were taken on the setting up of the organisation and intersessional work that will lead to a fully operational organisation.
In order not to lose any time in protecting the fisheries and other marine resources, the parties agreed on a process to introduce urgent conservation and management measures to implement the UNGA resolutions on deep water fisheries and the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems.
The Parties also agreed on the establishment of a Scientific Committee and the development of rules of procedure. The intersessional work will include a scientific work plan and financial rules related to compliance, in particular IUU.
The final decision on the location, size and structure of the Secretariat will be taken at the next meeting in Mauritius in March 2015.
The SIOFA is a non-tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO), which completes the coverage of RFMOs in the Indian Ocean. The Agreement was concluded in 2006 but entered into force only in 2012.
The present Members of the SIOFA are Australia, Cook Islands, the EU, France, Mauritius and Seychelles. In 2013, the EU has one vessel operating in the SIOFA area.