Tuna longliner. Credit: Steven Young
MRAG provides an observer each year to UK flagged longliners fishing in the Indian Ocean as part of the IOTC Regional Observer Scheme (ROS), in order to meet the 5% coverage of effort required by IOTC.
The vessels target swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and blue shark (Prionace glauca) and the observer’s role includes reporting of fishing activities, vessel positions and catch composition, monitoring bycatch and discards, and recording gear configuration.
At the end of each trip, the observers are debriefed, and the data and report submitted to the IOTC through the flag State responsible body (DEFRA).