4 November 2011
TODAY, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) concluded its annual meeting in Hobart, Tasmania.
Under the leadership of the EU, represented by the European Commission, CCAMLR adopted important measures to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, to develop Marine Protected Areas and to enhance the management of krill fisheries.
In particular, CCAMLR made the IMO ship identification numbers mandatory for toothfish vessels licensed to fish in the Convention area. This makes CCAMLR the first Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) to do so and is a fundamental step forward in the fight against the IUU fishing. Also, the transhipment notification system was extended to krill vessels, which will help to manage better this species, so vital to the Antarctic ecosystem.
CCAMLR also agreed on a general framework to develop Marine Protected Areas. It closed - for the first time - two fishing areas to protect potential Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems, following the notifications of encounters of such ecosystems by fishing vessels. Moreover, a dedicated CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Programme Fund was established. It will finance ecosystem-related monitoring to help CCAMLR gather ecosystem information necessary for decision-making.
The European Commission says it welcomes these decisions, which make CCAMLR a forerunner amongst RFMOs with regard to combating IUU and protecting marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, the European Commission adds that it is disappointed that two of its proposals – on market-related measures and on Port State Measures – could not be adopted.