The long-term objective of the Programme for Transhipment by Large-Scale Fishing Vessels is to combat IUU fishing activities in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Area which threaten to undermine the effectiveness of the conservation and management measures already adopted by the Commission. The specific objectives of this contract are to monitor transhipments at sea between Large Scale Tuna Longlining Vessels (LSTLVs) 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 IOTC Conservation and Management Measures. They are then required to monitor the transhipment itself, giving an independent estimate of the weight, numbers 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 IOTC Secretariat. MRAG and Capfish, acting as a consortium, designed the monitoring protocols and the observer training scheme at the conception of the programme and are responsible for the selection, training and placing of observers onboard the CVs. They have been successfully running the programme since its inception in 2009.