ICCAT Regional Observer Programme for At-Sea Transhipments
The Recommendation by ICCAT on a Transhipment (Rec. [21-15]) requires that all transhipments of ICCAT species take place in port, unless they are monitored under the ICCAT Regional Observer Programme for transhipment (ROP_Transhipment). The ROP_Transhipment is limited to large-scale longline vessels flagged to the participating Parties/Entities/Fishing Entities.
The ROP has been implemented since 2007 by a consortium between Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG) and Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring (CAPFISH) which carries out observer recruitment and training, equipment purchases and observer deployments under the supervision of the Secretariat.
In order for carrier vessels to receive transhipments of ICCAT species at sea, the following conditions must be met:
- The carrier vessel must be authorized by its flag State to operate in the Atlantic and be included in the ICCAT Record of Carrier Vessels.
- Carrier vessels must have an observer from the ICCAT ROP on board when receiving at-sea transhipments.
- Carrier vessel masters/opertors must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the implementing consoritum.
- Pass a pre-sea inspection by the observer before embarkation.
In order for large-scale longline vessels to tranship ICCAT species at sea, the following conditions must be met:
- The longline vessel must be authorized by its flag State to operate in the Atlantic and be included in the ICCAT Record of Vessels greater than 20 m.
- The longline vessel flag must be that of one of the Parties participating in the ROP.
- The longline vessel must be authorized by its flag State to carry out at-sea transhipments to the assigned carrier vessel in accordance with Rec. 21-15.
Requests for observer deployment should be made on the REQUEST FORM and include details of the carrier vessel and its operators, where and when the observer will embark, where and when the observer will disembark, what longline vessels will tranship and approximate dates and location, etc.
In accordance with paragraph 28 of Rec. 21-15, “The flag CPCs of LSPLVs which have transhipped during the previous year and the flag CPCs of carrier vessels accepting transhipments shall report annually before 15 September to the Executive Secretary” and “These reports shall be made available to the Commission and relevant subsidiary bodies for review and consideration. The Secretariat shall post these reports to a password protected website.” In addition, paragraph 6 of Appendix 3 requires, in relation to in-port transhipment that “Each flag CPC of the fishing vessel shall include in its Annual Report each year to ICCAT the details on the transhipments by its vessels”
Rec. 21-15 requires the masters of vessels making at-sea transhipment to submit a copy of the transhipment declaration to the Secretariat not later than 5 working days after the transhipment. The Secretariat is required to publish these on a secure part of the ICCAT website. The information from transhipment declarations received from 2022 onwards is available here.
Rec. 21-15 requires the masters of carrier vessels carrying out at-sea supply activities which are not conducted in association with transhipment that is monitored by an ICCAT Regional Observer to submit a copy of the supply declaration to the Secretariat 24 hours in advance of the activity. The Secretariat is required to publish these on a secure part of the ICCAT website. The information from supply declarations received from 2022 onwards is available here.