Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

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South East Atlantic SEAFO High seas fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Fisheries management reports 2012
South East Atlantic SEAFO High seas fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Owned bySouth East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) – more>>

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Overview: The South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO) is an intergovernmental fisheries science and management body. SEAFOs primary purpose is to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of all living marine resources in the South East Atlantic Ocean, and to safeguard the environment and marine ecosystems in which the resources occur.

Location of South East Atlantic SEAFO High seas fisheries
 

Geographic reference:  South East Atlantic
Spatial Scale: Regional
Reference year: 2012
Approach: Jurisdictional

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO)
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management;
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Area of Competence: SEAFO area of competence
Maritime Area: High seas

Fishing Activity
 
Fishery Area

Geo References for: South East Atlantic
History
 
SEAFO was established in line with the provisions of the United Nations Law of the Sea (Article 118) and United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA).

The initiative to establish a regional fisheries management organisation in the South East Atlantic Ocean came from Namibia in 1995 and was shared with and gained support from coastal states of Angola, South Africa and United Kingdom (on behalf of St. Helena and its dependencies of Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Islands). Various meetings of coastal states and other participants interested in the South East Atlantic deep-sea fisheries took place between 1995 and 1997.

The Convention was signed in April 2001 in Windhoek by Angola, the European Community, Iceland, Namibia, Norway, Republic of Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom (on behalf of St. Helena and its dependencies of Tristan da Cunha and Ascension Islands) and the United States of America. It entered into force in April 2003 after the deposit of instruments of ratification by Namibia and Norway and approval by the European Community. States that have participated in the negotiations but have not signed the Convention include the Russian Federation and Ukraine. In March 2005 the SEAFO Secretariat office was opened in Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Management
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area of Competence: SEAFO area of competence
Maritime Area: High seas.  

Contracting Partners who have deposited the instrument of ratification of SEAFO’s Convention include: Angola, EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Norway and South Africa.

SEAFO comprises of the Commission, the Scientific Committee (SC), the Compliance Committee (CC) and the Standing Committee on Administration and Finance (SCAF), and the Secretariat. In addition, the Commission may establish other ad hoc subsidiary bodies to assist in meeting the objective of the Convention.

The Commission has an oversight responsibility of the Organisation. The Scientific Committee provides scientific advice on the status of marine resource and on harvesting. The Compliance Committee provides the Commission with information, advice and recommendations on the implementation of, and compliance with, conservation and management measures. The Standing Committee on Administration and Finance is responsible for advising the Commission on budgetary and administrative matters of the Organization. The SEAFO Secretariat is based in Swakopmund, Namibia and is considered the administrative headquarters of the organization.

Economically important fish species in the Convention Area (CA) include sedentary, discrete and straddling stocks.

Table 1. Species under SEAFOs management.




Management Regime
Management Strategies
SEAFO adheres to an ecosystem and precautionary approach to fisheries management when deciding on management and conservation measures. The Commission adopts resolutions and recommendations based on scientific advice from the Scientific Committee; and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) advice from the Compliance Committee.

The Commission meets annually to agree on new management and conservation measures, and to set a total allowable catch (TACs) for each commercially viable species for the subsequent year.

It is the responsibility of each SEAFO Contracting Party to ensure that regulations are being adhered to by vessels of their flag State Contracting Party. Contracting Parties have the obligation to ensure that legal proceedings are being undertaken to mitigate infringements of SEAFOs conservation and enforcement regulations.
Management Methods

Fishing Area-related measures with focus on Closed areas (Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems) - Binding

SEAFO has made progress in protecting seamounts and vulnerable marine habitats from significant adverse impacts, caused by fishing. SEAFO recently closed 10 VME areas to bottom contact gears and defined its fishing footprint. New fishing grounds (areas outside fishing footprint) are subject to scientific assessment by the SEAFO Scientific Committee, prior to approval.

Fishing activity-related meaures with focus on Reduction of ghost fishing and of IUU fishery - Binding

SEAFO has adopted several measures to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries (IUU) fishing. The Commission has banned at-sea transhipments in the SEAFO CA; implemented an authorized vessel list; and established an IUU vessel list that incorporates vessels found on NEAFC, NAFO and CCAMLR IUU lists.

Species-related meaures with focus on Species protection - Binding

The Commission has also implemented management measures for the protection of deep-sea sharks by banning sharks as a directed species. Vessels are also expected to report all catches of sharks, have full utilization and retention (not including gut, skin and head), and not have fins that total more than 5% of the weight of sharks onboard.
Management measures have also been put in place to reduce incidental bycatch of seabirds in the SEAFO Convention Area, and to improve reporting of bycatch of sea turtles with the intent of reducing mortality due to fishing operations.
SEAFO has also banned all use of gillnets in the Convention Area, and has adopted stringent protocol for retrieval and reporting of lost gear.
Status of Management
Assessment Summary
Scientists from SEAFO flag States contribute to the assessment of marine resources in the SEAFO Convention Area. Species profiles for the main SEAFO marine resources are updated annually, and include catch and effort information as well as additional information relevant to the stocks e.g. spatial and temporal distributions, length-frequency analysis, and ecosystem implications/effects on VME indicator species and environments. The data and information used by the SEAFO scientists includes, but is not limited to, scientific observer catch and effort data, port inspection catch estimates, 5-day catch data, and VMS effort data.
Monitoring System
SEAFO has developed a comprehensive strategy to monitor, survey and control the fisheries. All vessels are required to:

  • be formally authorised to fish;
  • report catches on a 5-day interval;
  • report VMS positions on a 2-hourly interval;
  • have an independent scientific observer onboard;
  • comply with port inspection procedures; and
  • not make transhipments in the SEAFO CA.

Source of Information
 
“Annual Meeting Reports” Click to openhttp://www.seafo.org/CommAnnualReports.html
“Scientific Council Reports” Click to openhttp://www.seafo.org/SCAnnualReports.html
“SEAFO Conservation and Management Measures” Click to openhttp://www.seafo.org/ConservationManagementMeasures.html
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