Implementation of the ICCAT Regional Observer Programme - Transhipment

In November 2005, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas adopted the Recommendation by ICCAT Establishing a Programme for Transhipment by Large-Scale Pelagic Longline Fishing Vessels (LSPLVs) [Rec. 05-06], which required, inter alia, the implementation of an ICCAT Regional Observer Programme. The Observer Programme is one of ICCAT Members initiatives to combat and deter IUU activity.  The Recommendation was updated in 2012 to include LSPLV inspections in line with IOTC protocols [Rec. 12-06].

The specific objectives of this contract are to monitor transhipments at sea between LSPLVs and Carrier Vessels (CVs) through placing observers on the CVs. Observers verify the identity of the transhipping LSTLV and check its compliance with a number of key ICCAT Recommendations. They are then required to monitor the transhipment itself, giving an independent estimate of the weight and species transferred. Records are collated into a database and observers submit these, along with a report, upon completion of their monitoring activities. The outputs are reviewed by the Consortium and submitted to the ICCAT Secretariat.

MRAG and CapFish, acting as a consortium, designed the monitoring protocols and the training for programme and are responsible for the selection, training and placing of observers onboard the CVs. All equipment, logistical services and insurance are provided by the Consortium.



Start Date: 

Monday, 23 April, 2007 to Wednesday, 22 April, 2015

Services Provided: 

  • Development of protocols and  a training package for the Programme
  • Database design for all aspects of observer management and data collection
  • Selection, training and placing observers
  • Production of Annual reports including observations on implementation of the Programme and infractions to the ICCAT Secretariat.

% as lead firm: 


Proportion MRAG: 


Duration (months): 


Number of Staff: 


Name of Client: 

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)

Client Address: 

United Kingdom

Project Tags: 


Origin of Funding: 

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT)


Atlantic Ocean

Project Value: 

2 323 000 EUR

Name of Partners (if any): 

Capricorn Fishing Monitoring (CapFish)