Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System

South East Atlantic SEAFO High seas fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Fisheries management reports 2021
South East Atlantic SEAFO High seas fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Owned bySouth East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) – more>>

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: 2020
Approach: Jurisdictional

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO)
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management;

Area of Competence:
Maritime Area: High seas

Fishing Activity
Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Polar; Temperate.   Depth zone: Slope (200 m - 1000 m); Abyssal ( >1000m).   Sea floor physiography: Seamounts.  

Geo References for: South East Atlantic
Management unit: No

Jurisdictional framework
Mandate: Scientific Advice; Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
Area of Competence
Maritime Area: High seas.  
Management Regime
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. - 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.
Management Methods

Fishing Area-related measures, Fishing activity-related measures, Species-related measures with focus on Closed areas (Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems), Reduction of ghost fishing and of IUU fishery, Species protection - Binding

  • Aquatic species-related measures
    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.
  • Vessel-related measures
    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 measures
    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.
Source of Information
South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO). Personal Communication. August 2021.
SEAFO Annual Meeting Reports  Click to open
SEAFO Scientific Council Reports  Click to open
SEAFO Conservation and Management Measures  Click to open
powered by FIGIS  © FAO, 2023
Powered by FIGIS