IMO and the PEW Charitable Trusts have continued their global efforts to boost fishing safety with a series of regional webinars building support for the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety. The latest webinar, held on 19-20 October and co-hosted by Indonesia, was aimed at maritime and fishing stakeholders from the IMO Member States in Asia.
The two-day event offered a platform for knowledge sharing by parties that had either already implemented or were seeking to implement the Cape Town Agreement and facilitated active discussion about the benefits and challenges of doing so. The 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 of 3,600 fishing vessels meeting the length requirements operating on the high seas. It has 16 Parties to date.
The webinar was opened by Dr. Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO, and His Excellency Desra Percaya, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to IMO, Ambassador Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom. Attendees heard from a number of high-profile speakers.
Among other important issues, participants were given insight into the major principles of the Agreement, the ratification process, the effects of fisheries management policies on fishing safety, and also the benefits of ratifying the Agreement from labour, insurance, search and rescue, and marine environment perspectives. The webinar also highlighted the positive impacts of the Agreement on combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Participants agreed to a statement encouraging States to become a party to the Cape Town Agreement.