In 2008 CCSBT adopted the ‘Resolution on Establishing a Program for Transhipment by Large-Scale Fishing Vessels’. The resolution required that each Member and Cooperating Non-Member shall ensure that all carrier vessels transhipping at sea shall have on board a CCSBT observer by no later than the 1st April 2009. The observer is required to monitor all transhipments of southern bluefin tuna (SBT) and ensure that the quantity of transhipped SBT is consistent with the reported catch in the CCSBT transhipment declaration. Observers are also required to ensure that any transhipped SBT are individually tagged and are accompanied by the correct documentation which they must countersign, according to the ‘Resolution on the Implementation of a CCSBT Catch Documentation Scheme’.
MRAG, in a consortium with Capfish, are responsible for recruiting, training and deploying the CCSBT observers.
As CCSBT is a transboundary RFMO, responsible for a stock rather than an area, transhipments of SBT can take place within any of the ICCAT, IOTC and IATTC regions, current transhipment observers from these RFMOs (also managed by MRAG and Capfish) can therefore be utilised as CCSBT observers as well.