The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) has addressed issues relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in a number of contexts over the past decade, and more recently in the context of the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent Deter and Eliminate IUU fishing (IPOA-IUU). GFCM has considered the need for information on non-Member fishing vessels (1994 - 95), the need to develop a control scheme for "flag of convenience" vessels and the diffusion of misinformation on IUU fishing by several groups (2000) and the implementation of MedFisis, a regional project to help countries raise the minimum standard in fisheries statistics system, which foresees the establishment of a Vessel Register. It was recognized that the number of shared fisheries already identified justifies common action to be taken for those fisheries at international levels.
More recently, at its twenty-eighth session (October 2003), GFCM reviewed issues common to combating IUU fishing, including the status and implementation of the IPOA-IUU in the Mediterranean and recent actions and measures taken by selected regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in this respect. The Commission acknowledged the wish expressed by Members that the implementation of the IPOA-IUU be addressed both at national level and at regional level through GFCM. It decided to adopt a step-by-step approach whereby the various dimensions of the issue could be tackled in a holistic manner. In this respect, some delegations suggested that the establishment of "white" and "black" lists of vessels could be an initial undertaking.
The Commission agreed that a workshop of Experts from GFCM countries should be organized immediately following the June 2004 FAO Technical Consultation to Review Progress and Promote the Full Implementation of the IPOA to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing and the IPOA for the Management of Fishing Capacity (June 2004 FAO Technical Consultation).
Subsequently, the Declaration adopted by the Ministerial Conference for the Sustainable Development of Fisheries in the Mediterranean in November 2003 (2003 Ministerial Declaration), in relation to IUU fishing, reiterated and built upon the approach adopted by the twenty-eighth session of the GFCM. The Declaration:
invited GFCM to adopt at its twenty-ninth session effective measures based on the FAO IPOA-IUU, with priority for establishing procedures for identifying vessels carrying out IUU activities (black list), as well as action to be taken against these vessels, and furthermore, drawing up registers of vessels authorized to fish (white list);
referred to principles upon which the implementation by GFCM of a system of inspection, tailored to the specific nature of the Mediterranean fisheries, should be based; and
invited the GFCM to adopt in 2004 policy guidelines of the control scheme with the aim of progressively developing measures defining in particular the obligations of the Parties, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port.
Each of these areas is discussed below in this document.
1.2 Issues relating to implementation of the IPOA-IUU by GFCM
As noted in the information paper prepared for the twenty-eighth session of GFCM, "Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and its Relations and Effects of the Management of Fishing Capacity in the Mediterranean", a number of international fisheries instruments have been concluded that have broadened and strengthened the role of RFMOs in fisheries management. Many GFCM Members have ratified one or more of these instruments, which have progressively defined the role and responsibilities of coastal states, flag states, port states and RFMOs, including duties relating to high seas fishing.
Many of the provisions in the international instruments provided the impetus for RFMOs to agree on specific measures relating to IUU fishing, including information and data requirements, establishment of registers, requirements for high seas fishing, landings, port inspection and transshipment, inspection and enforcement and cooperation with non-members.
In particular, the IPOA-IUU, a voluntary instrument, reinforces these provisions and calls upon states to develop and implement national plans of action by 2004 that should include actions to implement initiatives adopted by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). This target date has been reinforced at high levels, including by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and United Nations General Assembly Resolutions in 2003.
The objective of the IPOA-IUU is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by providing all states with a "toolbox" of comprehensive, transparent and effective measures by which to act, including through RFMOs. The IPOA-IUU sets out the responsibilities of all states and flag states, measures to be taken by coastal states and port states, and internationally agreed market-related measures. It refers also to responsibilities and measures of states acting through RFMOs, and of states that are not members of RFMOs. The measures are integrated, and should be applied in accordance with international and other applicable law.
Implementation of the IPOA-IUU through GFCM could yield a number of positive effects. Overall objectives could be to restore the health of the Mediterranean fish stocks subject to management by GFCM and achieve long-term conservation and sustainable use of the resources. Depending on the measures and actions agreed, implementation could promote improved and integrated fisheries management. This could encompass reliable and comprehensive databases, strengthened MCS, improved institutional capacities of Members, strengthened implementation of flag state responsibility and enhanced cooperation among GFCM Members, as well as between GFCM, other RFMOs, states and entities. It could also serve as a focus for development and technical assistance.
Effective implementation of the IPOA-IUU as it relates to the needs of the GFCM would depend on the commitment of GFCM Members, and on long-term planning.
1.3 Progress on the implementation of the IPOA-IUU reported by regional fishery bodies or arrangements and states
Questionnaires were distributed by FAO to regional fishery bodies (RFBs) and states in late 2003 to provide a basis for assessing the progress in implementation of the IPOA-IUU, in preparation for the June 2004 FAO Technical Consultation. The responses by RFBs, showing actions and measures taken to implement the IPOA-IUU and explained in documents prepared for the Consultation, are summarized in Table 1; those of the states are summarized in Tables 2 (two parts) and 3.
For RFBs, the level of activity in implementing the paragraphs of the IPOA-IUU was assessed by noting the number of RFBs reporting that they had taken relevant measures or actions: significant activity was indicated where nine to eleven RFBs had implemented the measure or action; moderate activity was shown where six to eight RFBs responded affirmatively; and some activity was indicated where there were five or less "yes" responses. The results are presented in the three sections of Table 1, showing where the RFBs that have indicated activity in various areas.
In general, RFBs have undertaken significant to moderate activity in the priority areas identified for action by GFCM and the 2003 Ministerial Declaration. In this regard, the responses indicate:
significant activity for measures such as maintaining and exchange records of authorized fishing vessels, maintaining a record of IUU fishing vessels, MCS and determining policy objectives for internal purposes;
moderate activity for port control measures, development of boarding and inspection regimes and the definition of presumptions for IUU fishing and support vessels, and measures/actions relating to flag state responsibility.
For states, the responses of ten GFCM Members to the FAO questionnaire were extracted from the responses of other FAO Members, and these In general, activity is uneven among respondents in implementing specific actions and measures specified under each area of the IPOA-IUU, but on the whole the responses indicate:
significant activity (up to ten respondents) in the areas of law and policy, measures/actions in relation to nationals, requirements for fishing vessels, responsibilities of a flag state and cooperation through regional fishery management organizations;
moderate activity (no more than eight respondents) in the areas of MCS, catch determination and verification and internationally agreed market related measures;
some activity (no more than five respondents) in the areas of high seas fishing activities, knowledge of fishing vessel position in areas of national jurisdiction, access by foreign fishing vessels, information and inspections, measures/actions against IUU fishing and formulation of a national plan of action to combat IUU fishing (NPOA-IUU).
Specific questions to which all ten respondents indicated "yes" were:
Do you think your states nationals are generally aware of the effects of IUU fishing?
Is it an offence for your states nationals to undermine conservation and management measures of RFMOs?
Does your state have the means to control the fishing activities of the vessels registered in your state?
Although these results are based on responses by only ten GFCM Members, they indicate trends and areas in which greater national level activity may be needed for areas identified by GFCM as priorities, such as MCS, inspections and taking measures/actions against IUU fishing.
1.4 Effectiveness of measures and actions of GFCM Members in implementing the IPOA-IUU
A specific questionnaire (in three parts) was distributed to GFCM Members to prepare for the June 2004 Workshop on IUU fishing in the Mediterranean, with the objectives of seeking Members views as to the effectiveness of their measures to combat IUU fishing, identifying the major types of IUU fishing in areas under their jurisdiction and identifying constraints and solutions for combating IUU fishing activities in the GFCM Region. Prior to the Workshop, six Members had responded, and the responses are summarized in Tables 3 - 5.
Although the responses are not representative of the full membership, some trends are apparent from the information received. Interestingly, they are similar to the trends identified by the responses of ten GFCM Members to the FAO questionnaire for states described above in Section 1.3, for which Members were asked to indicate whether measures had been taken. In the GFCM questionnaire, focus was placed more on the respondents views of the effectiveness of the measures they had taken. Both questionnaires were based on the measures in the IPOA-IUU.
Four or more respondents indicated that the following national measures are highly effective in combating IUU fishing:
national laws in respect of control of national vessels and vessel information;
the means to control registered vessels;
comprehensive information on the register of fishing vessels; and
for port access, requirements for reasonable advance notice of entry into port, a copy of the authorization to fish and details of the fishing trip and quantities of fish on board.
A total of four or more respondents indicated that the following national measures are of low-to-medium effectiveness, or are not applicable:
effectiveness of national laws in respect of fishing information, port inspections, authority for high seas boarding and inspections and enforcement (use of technologies such as VSM and offences, fines);
mechanisms for inspection at sea;
mechanisms for inspection in port;
comprehensive high seas fishing vessel data submitted to FAO;
catch verification procedures;
requirement for VMS for foreign fishing vessels;
cooperation through RFMOs on market-related measures to combat IUU fishing;
steps to prevent trade or import of IUU caught fish; and
priority for formulating and adopting an NPOA-IUU.
The responses relating to the types of IUU fishing and constraints and solutions for combating IUU fishing activities are summarized below in Section 2.4.2.
2 Relevant activity and constraints among GFCM Members for combating IUU fishing
2.1 Adoption of National Plans of Action (NPOAs) and related instruments by GFCM Members
At the present time there is insufficient information to describe the IUU fishing situation for all GFCM Members, but responses by some GFCM Members to the FAO questionnaire to states on implementation of the IPOA-IUU, described above, refer to different types of IUU fishing of current concern. These include:
using illegal fishing gear and methods;
fishing in prohibited areas;
fishing during closed seasons.
Although this indicates that a number of GFCM Members acknowledge the problems associated with IUU fishing activities in their areas, Spain appears to be the only GFCM Member State to have prepared and published an NPOA-IUU. The Plan sets out Spanish initiatives taken under all relevant headings of the IPOA-IUU. Regarding regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), the IPOA-IUU refers especially to existing national regulations dealing with activities by flags of convenience and non-cooperating parties in RFMOs. In its proposed programme of new measures, the NPOA suggests it would be useful to draw up lists of vessels and states involved in IUU fishing, complemented by an information system enabling the continuous updating of information.
Other GFCM Members have indicated their views on the implementation of the IPOA-IUU at national level. Japan noted that it had already implemented all the necessary measures to combat IUU fishing, and Egypt referred to its review of the fisheries law and management regulations in light of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and GFCM regulations. Morocco indicated that it has formulated or begun formulation of an NPOA-IUU. GFCM Members that have indicated they have not yet done so are Algeria, Cyprus, Lebanon and Tunisia.
On a regional level, the EU Fisheries Council adopted conclusions and measures on IUU Fishing in 2002. Directly applicable only to the EU members of GFCM, they urge the European Commission (EC) to actively exercise its competences with regard to EU Members and in international fora, especially among the RFMOs, in order to attain specific objectives, including to:
elaborate registers of authorized vessels and lists of unauthorized or illegal vessels in RFMOs;
draw up lists of states or territories that do not cooperate with the RFMOs, which might be subject to transparent and non-discriminatory trade measures;
take measures of control over nationals and Community residents who use flags of convenience as a means to evade those measures of regulation and conservation that have been established;
implement monitoring, control and surveillance programmes in each RFMO;
identify and quantify illegal catches, and determine the origin of these catches in order to act before the corresponding flag state;
implement regimes of classification or documentation regarding fish species that so require, as an additional measure of international control;
define the rights and obligations of the port state concerning the access of fishing vessels to port facilities; and
provide assistance for developing countries to fulfil the commitments they have to undertake in relation with the IPOA-IUU.
Some of these objectives, relevant to GFCM, are currently under review, such as elaborating registers of authorized vessels and lists of unauthorized or illegal vessels in RFMOs, and implementing MCS programmes in RFMOs.
2.2 Summary of existing MCS-related law in GFCM Members
The mechanisms, tools and needs of existing fisheries management in the Mediterranean relating to IUU fishing are under review. To this end, national laws and regulations for fisheries management have been reviewed under CopeMed for the western Mediterranean and AdriaMed for the Adriatic Sea. A similar exercise is ongoing for the Eastern Mediterranean basin. In addition, there has been a review to identify the type of MCS measures introduced by Mediterranean coastal state in their fisheries legislation to ensure effective monitoring and control of fishing vessels operating under their jurisdiction and of fishing vessels flying their flag on the high seas. This review, summarized below, provides preliminary comparative information for assessing needs for implementing regional measures pursuant to the IPOA-IUU into the national law of GFCM Members.
The review of MCS measures in the legislation of GFCM Members identifies nine types of measures, described below, but does not extend to an assessment of the implementation of such measures. For this reason, this section should be considered together with the summary description of MCS technical capacity in GFCM Members, in Section 2.3 below. The measures are summarized in Table 6.
The nine types of measures reviewed are generally recommended by the IPOA-IUU as actions or measures which states should take, and references to the IPOA-IUU are given in the text below. On the whole, the review shows a need for the strengthening of these measures on a national basis in order to provide a basis for combating IUU fishing, and for harmonizing them to the extent appropriate for purposes agreed in GFCM.
2.2.1 Register or record of fishing vessels
The IPOA-IUU contains a number of paragraphs relating to fishing vessel registration, with the general objective of providing the means for states to ensure that vessels entitled to fly their flag do not engage in or support IUU fishing. For example, guidelines are provided for states to avoid flagging vessels with a history of non-compliance. Similarly, a number of tools for the maintenance of a record of fishing vessels are suggested, including identifying the owners and operators, and specific information required to be recorded for flag vessels, including those authorized to fish on the high seas.
Although many GFCM Members have requirements to keep a register or record of fishing vessels, there are discrepancies as to the information required, the classification of vessels on the registers, prerequisites to registration and the administrative arrangements. Based on the information available, it was not possible to determine whether the use of the terminology "register" or "record" had any legal implications.
Legislation relating to registers of fishing vessels underpins the operation of the MedFisis project to establish such registers for GFCM Members. Although that project can be instrumental in harmonizing such databases, and is technologically capable of modifying databases in a flexible manner towards that end, such action would depend to a great extent on harmonization of legal requirements in each Member.
2.2.2 Register of fishers
Some GFCM Members require a register of professional fishers to be kept, but the objective or use of each register and benefits of registration are unclear according to available information. Registers are maintained at various levels in various states - local and central or both. The requirements for entry into the log, as well as the requirements for de-registration vary significantly. On the basis of available information, it does not appear that IUU fishing constitutes a basis for de-registration, unless, as in one case, it is repeated and serious. The IPOA-IUU does not specifically refer to a register of fishers.
2.2.3 Vessel marking
The IPOA-IUU states that authorizations to fish should require the marking of fishing vessels in accordance with internationally recognized standards, such as the FAO Standard Specification and Guidelines for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels. Vessels fishing gear should similarly be marked in accordance with internationally recognized standards.
A number of GFCM Members require vessel marking, but from available information, many do not refer to the FAO Standard Specifications for Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels. Marking standards vary, as do requirements of the items to be identified in marking, such as registration number, licence number and/or fishing gear.
2.2.4 Inspection and enforcement
The IPOA-IUU provides that states should undertake comprehensive and effective monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fishing from its commencement, through the point of landing, to final destination, including by ensuring effective implementation of national and, where appropriate, internationally agreed boarding and inspection regimes consistent with international law, recognizing the rights and obligations of masters and of inspection officers, and noting that such regimes are provided for in certain international agreements, such as the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and apply only to the parties to those agreements.
Many GFCM Members have legislation to allow for inspections of fishing vessels in areas of national jurisdiction. The review did not indicate that legislation exists to allow for inspections beyond areas of national jurisdiction, except for the EU Member States.
The extent of the authority (other than geographical) of the inspectors for each Member is unclear, but could eventually be relevant for any harmonized or regional inspection scheme that may be agreed.
A major objective of inspections is to gather designated information and submit it to national authorities and as appropriate the flag state, but it is not clear what information the Members legislation requires to be submitted. This could be a point for further elaboration and harmonization.
Inspections should be distinguished from enforcement activity and authority. The powers of fisheries enforcement officers, which can include searches and seizures, evidence gathering and use of reasonable force, constitute a fundamental element of MCS for purposes of combating IUU fishing. It could also be appropriate in the enforcement of VMS systems.
Reporting requirements assist in developing a database for fisheries management and for effective MCS. The IPOA-IUU notes that vessel authorizations should include a number of specified catch reporting conditions, and reporting and other conditions for transshipping, where it is permitted.
Although reporting requirements are found in the fisheries legislation of most Members, and apply to both national and foreign fishing vessels, the specific requirements appear to be uneven in terms of the time the reports are submitted (e.g. after fishing trips, monthly, annually) and the contents of the report. Logbooks are required by a number of states, and must provide information on the quantity of fish caught, the size, species, place of catch and the gear. However, the class of vessels required to keep logbooks varies, for example commercial fishing vessels, or vessels over 10 metres in length.
There is no information available indicating whether other reporting statistics stated in the IPOA-IUU are required, such as time series of catch and effort statistics, discard statistics or transshipment statistics.
Prioritization and harmonization of reporting requirements would therefore appear to be a consideration for combating IUU fishing for stocks managed by GFCM, including the ability to implement any regional standard that may be agreed for reporting.
2.2.6 Landing of catch
The IPOA-IUU encourages states to strengthen port control in order to combat IUU fishing through the adoption of port state measures regulating, inter alia, access to ports and landing of catch. In addition, the IPOA-IUU sets out the information that port states should collect and remit to the flag state and relevant RFMO. Provisions regulating the landing of catch in national ports of Mediterranean coastal states were identified in the legislation of twelve Members.
Some states require that all catches taken in waters under national jurisdiction be landed in a national port. Some states prohibit landings in port unless they are monitored by a fisheries inspector, and others have an authorization scheme to land catch in a national port. Advance notice of entry into port is required by some Members, but the advance time required varies, and in some cases this requirement may apply only to foreign vessels. In several Members, fish or fish products can only be landed in designated ports.
There is no available information to indicate whether states are implementing legislation as encouraged by the IPOA-IUU regarding the information to be collected and transmitted upon inspection in port. This may be a useful MCS tool for GFCM consideration.
The IPOA-IUU calls for flag states to ensure that none of their vessels re-supply a fishing vessel engaged in IUU activities or transship fish to or from these vessels. Flag states should also ensure that their fishing, transport and support vessels involved in transshipment at sea have a prior authorization to fish and report specified information.
Further, the IPOA-IUU calls for flag states to make information from catch and transshipment reports available, aggregated according to areas and species, in a full, timely and regular manner.
Transshipment requirements among GFCM Members are highly uneven. Provisions regulating the transshipment of fish or fish products are found in the fisheries laws of some Members. In one Member, transshipment at sea is strictly prohibited, except in case of force majeure. In the other Members, transshipment is subject to an authorization scheme. In one Member, this requirement applies only for transshipment at sea, whereas in the other states it is required for both transshipments at sea and in port. In one Member, the authorization scheme applies only to foreign fishing vessels, while transshipment by that states fishing vessels is subject to an advance notice procedure. In EU law, prior authorization is only required for third-country fishing vessels.
In two Members, masters of fishing vessels are required to provide any prescribed information pursuant to any transshipment.
2.2.8 Observer programmes
The IPOA-IUU encourages states to implement, where appropriate, observer programmes in accordance with relevant national, regional or international standards, including the requirement for vessels under their jurisdiction to carry observers on board, and to require observer coverage as a condition of an authorization to fish.
Fisheries legislation of some Members provides for the establishment of observer programmes. In two Members, the fisheries law contains language enabling the competent authority to impose the placing of observers on board any vessel. License holders have a duty to allow designated observers to stay on board and to facilitate the performance of their duties. In one Member, the master of any foreign fishing vessel authorized to fish for highly migratory species within its waters is required to embark two observers on board, one appointed by the fisheries administration, the other by the coast guard. EU law stipulates that Member States are responsible for placing observers on board fishing vessels.
It is acknowledged that observer programmes may not necessarily be required in fisheries legislation, but may operate de facto on national or regional bases. In that case, the appointment, functions and authority of observers - and duties of masters and crew towards them - should at least be included in national legislation. Information on the legal provisions relating to observers, as distinct from observer programmes, was not available.
2.2.9 Vessel monitoring systems (VMS)
The IPOA-IUU encourages states, as part of undertaking comprehensive MCS, to implement - where appropriate - a vessel monitoring system (VMS) in accordance with the relevant national, regional or international standards, including the requirement for vessels under their jurisdiction to carry VMS on board.
This relatively new technology generally involves placement of a transponder on a vessel, administration of a land-based receiver and disposition of information received. VMS has been the subject of a corpus of recently developed laws for various national governments to address the special circumstances of its regulation. Some elements of such laws include the requirements to install and maintain VMS according to certain specifications, inspection of equipment, prohibition from tampering with the equipment, procedures for failure of equipment, information to be transmitted and confidentiality and ownership of information. VMS has been implemented on both national and regional bases, and as noted below in Section 2.3, some GFCM Members are in the process of developing its use.
Some GFCM Members laws contain provisions on VMS, with the most comprehensive established under EU law. It requires any Community fishing vessel and third country vessel operating in Community waters to be equipped with a functioning system which allows detection and identification of that vessel by remote monitoring systems. It applies to vessels exceeding 18 m length overall from 1 January 2004, and to vessels exceeding 15 metres length overall from 1 January 2005.
2.2.10 Other laws
Other MCS-related measures in the IPOA-IUU that were not covered in the review summarized above, but may need to be considered in future, include designation of serious infringements, establishment of high fines or penalties, the appointment of enforcement officers (including relevant training standards for fisheries enforcement), powers of enforcement officers (to ensure that they have appropriate powers for enforcing measures suggested by the IPOA-IUU, including at sea, on land, in buildings, vehicles and aircraft, and as appropriate in areas beyond national jurisdiction), laws covering supply to IUU fishing vessels and other related activities, requirements for navigation equipment (in order to promote compliance with demarcated zones), and aspects of regional cooperation such as information confidentiality and cooperation in surveillance and enforcement.
2.3 Summary of existing MCS technical capacity in GFCM Members
Current information on existing MCS technical capacity in GFCM Members has not been compiled in a clear and comprehensive manner, so this summary is sourced from a 2002 EC Communication that sets out an Action Plan for Mediterranean Fisheries, and information from the responding GFCM Members to an FAO questionnaire on implementation of the IPOA-IUU, used as a basis for the June 2004 FAO Technical Consultation.
MCS technical capacity is taken to cover not only new technology such as VMS, but the ability to establish and maintain a range of MCS-related activities set out in the IPOA-IUU, such as reporting, requirements for fishing, capacity strengthening, observer programmes and other areas including those for all states, coastal states and port states as set out in the IPOA-IUU.
Although the EC Action Plan is an indication of priorities for EU Member States rather than an explanation of existing MCS technical capacity, and although subsequent follow-up to the priorities is not stated, it identifies areas where such capacity needs to be strengthened. These include:
use of the VMS system for certain fleets, including vessels longer than 10 metres overall;
revision of the logbook system;
improved matching between vessel characteristics, fishing licences and fishing permits;
setting up a control and reporting framework for recreational fisheries that target shared or straddling stocks or complete with commercial fisheries.
The responses of ten GFCM Members to the FAO questionnaire on implementation of the IPOA-IUU, described in Section 1.3 above, indicate the MCS measures and actions that have been taken by responding Members, and the areas in which further activities are needed. The responses are summarized in Tables 2 and 3.
Eight respondents indicated that they have taken measures to improve MCS, and some of these noted in comments that this has included development of VMS, increasing the control and surveillance activities, adopting procedures for IUU fishing and strengthening penalties.
In relation to flag state responsibilities, most respondents stated that they require the following:
registration for all fishing vessels;
express authorization for vessels to fish within areas of national jurisdiction; and
express authorization to fish beyond areas of national jurisdiction.
Although most respondents reported that they have the means to control the fishing activities of their registered vessels, some indicated that there are limited human resources or other inefficiencies. Many indicated a policy or practice to avoid registering vessels with a history of IUU fishing, and most indicated that they:
maintain a comprehensive record of fishing vessels entitled to fly their flag;
coordinate the functions of registering fishing vessels and granting authorizations to fish;
where their flag vessel is identified as having engaged in IUU fishing, take measures to prevent transshipment, other forms of assistance;
prohibit or require prior authorization and reporting for transshipment of vessels at sea.
For high seas fishing activities, some Members report that they have means to ensure their flag vessels do not undermine high seas fishery conservation and management measures, and two reports that they submit high seas fishing data to FAO.
The state of MCS technical capacities of members is reflected in many responses under coastal state responsibilities. Where five or fewer Members stated that they have taken certain actions or measures, it may indicate a generally low MCS technical capacity (although this may also indicate the absence of a proper legal or institutional framework). These areas are:
knowledge of where most or all fishing vessels are fishing in areas under national jurisdiction;
use of VMS;
identification of fishing vessel position through mandatory radio reports;
mandatory logbook, including frequent vessel position reporting; and
independent observer programme.
Of the above, the fewest "yes" responses indicating that actions had been taken were for an independent observer programme (two) and mandatory radio reports on vessel position (three). Although only four Members reported use of VMS, another three indicated they are planning to do so.
Areas implemented by six or more responding Members included:
capacity strengthening to conduct regular patrols where vessels are known to fish;
mandatory reports by logbook; and
catch verification procedures, such as port inspection and/or observers.
A relatively high number of responding Members - five - indicated that they do not require VMS, radio and/or fax to determine catch. Five other respondents indicated that they do have such requirements.
Requirements for granting access to foreign fishing vessels were not applicable for a number of responding Members, but some stated that, before granting access, they verify that foreign fishing vessels have received authorization from their flag state to fish in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
In general, about half of the responding Members indicated that they have taken port state measures, and another four declared that some or all of the measures are not applicable. Six responding Members reported that they require reasonable advance notice of entry into port, five require details of the fishing trip and quantities of fish on board, and three each require a copy of the authorization to fish and grant access to ports only when vessel inspection can be carried out.
Five responding Members stated that they require the following information from foreign fishing vessels in port: flag state and vessel identification details; name, nationality and qualifications of the master; fishing gear and catch on board including origin, species, form and quantity. They also indicated that they prohibit landings and transshipments from vessels in port where there are grounds for suspecting IUU fishing, and immediately report the matter to authorities in the flag state and, as appropriate, to an RFMO or other state where IUU fishing occurred.
However, only two respondents stated that they have taken action against a foreign IUU vessel in their port with the consent of the flag state.
A number of Members indicated cooperation through RFMOs to combat IUU fishing, but in ways that do not closely relate to MCS technical capacity.
2.4 Summary of major constraints to combating IUU fishing in GFCM Members
2.4.1 Identifying and quantifying IUU fishing activities
A major constraint to combating IUU fishing in the Mediterranean region is the difficulty of identifying and quantifying IUU fishing activities. This difficulty could be linked partly to concerns about existing weaknesses in fisheries management in the Mediterranean, including uneven data submission by GFCM Members, the need for an operational integrated database, uncertainties in stock evaluations and limited MCS, as well as the unbalanced institutional capacity of Members.
Future measures and actions to combat IUU fishing will involve improved databases to support the decisions. Existing databases include:
The Capture Database for the GFCM area, maintained at FAO, actually shows a decrease in reported catch to 396 tonnes in 2000, down from 5 685 tonnes in 1996, indicating but not identifying IUU fishing information.
The FAO High Seas Vessel Authorization Record (HSVAR), which currently contains information from a limited range of countries. However, more countries are providing information and work is under way to integrate this into the Record.
The MedFisis project, noted above (Section 1.1), aiming at building an integrated regional statistical system able to respond not only to the requirements of the Commission but also to the need of individual countries and other regional and global levels of governance. The system would be managed by the GFCM Secretariat, but each register and its statistics would fall under the authority of the relevant national government and its rules and policies for information distribution and confidentiality. The likely difficulty in the longer term will be, in particular for the less developed countries or for countries with limited fisheries outputs, to bear the burden of rather demanding systems. A current objective is to complete a fleet census by the end of 2004 so that standardized information will be available. Next year a pilot study will be launched on all catch and effort surveys in all countries.
The ICCAT "List of Large-Scale Longline Vessels Believed to be Engaged in IUU Fishing Activities in the ICCAT Convention Area and Other Areas", which lists 378 vessels, a majority being "Flag of Convenience" vessels, but only indicates the area transshipped, rather than fished.
Management measures adopted by ICCAT are relevant to GFCM actions, given the robust GFCM/ICCAT collaboration. ICCAT reported measures aimed at curbing IUU activities to the twenty-fifth session of GFCM (2000), which seemed to have proved effective in reducing IUU activities. It has since adopted a number of measures to combat IUU fishing, including establishment of an ICCAT Record of Vessels over 24 m authorized to operate in the Convention Area and a list of vessels presumed to have carried out IUU fishing activities in the ICCAT Convention Area and other measures.
Information on the FAO GFCM database on reported catches of non-coastal countries in the Mediterranean from 1997, in Figure 1, shows that the catch composition is comprised almost entirely of tuna. In fact, it only shows negligible catches of other species in 2000 and 2001.
Catches of non-coastal countries (non-GFCM members) in the Mediterranean (excluding Black Sea)
The composition of the catches other than tuna is mainly sharks, as shown in Figure 2. Figures for other marine species caught show a level of 7 tonnes in 2000 and 12 tonnes in 2001, with nothing for 2002 and the years prior to 2000.
Composition of catches other than tuna by non-coastal non-GFCM members in the Mediterranean (excluding Black Sea)
The percentage of tuna catches by non-coastal, non-GFCM members out of the total tuna catches in the Mediterranean are reported between a high of 4 percent in 1997 to a low of 0.3 percent in 2000, as shown in Figure 3. For 2002, it was reported at 1.11 percent.
Percentage of tuna catches by non-coastal (non-GFCM members) on total tuna catches in the Mediterranean (excluding Black Sea)
Even more dramatic was the percentage of catches by non-coastal, non-GFCM Members of total catches in the Mediterranean, shown in Figure 4. This indicates that the tuna catch constituted less than 0.1 percent of the total catch in 2002. The catch of other species consistently hugged the 0 percent line, and was reported at between 0.09 percent and 0.02 percent in recent years.
Percentage of catches by non-coastal countries (non-GFCM members) on total tuna catches in the Mediterranean (excluding Black Sea)
The statistics shown above collectively demonstrate that any decision to combat IUU fishing would need to take into account the fact that there is negligible reported fishing of species other than shark and tuna by non-coastal, non-GFCM States in the region. This raises issues relating to the costs and benefits of any proposed activities, and would favour activities that can be carried out with commensurately minimal costs.
2.4.2 Types of IUU fishing and constraints to addressing IUU fishing identified by GFCM Members
The FAO questionnaires on implementing the IPOA-IUU, which focused on the issue at national level, requested states to identify the main types of IUU fishing and constraints to addressing IUU fishing; these are shown in Tables 2.1 and 2.2. Many respondents cited as the main types of IUU fishing the use of illegal fishing gear, taking prohibited species or undersized fish and fishing in prohibited areas or during closed seasons. One respondent referred to taking non-target species and juveniles and using trawls on the high seas.
Constraints to addressing IUU fishing were cited as financial constraints, insufficient means (including limited surveillance by patrol craft), lack of professional training, shortages of MCS instruments, high social costs to enforce laws to lower fishing effort, and no legal basis for combating fishing on the high seas.
The questionnaire subsequently distributed to GFCM Members in May, 2004 requested that they identify constraints for combating IUU fishing in the GFCM region and identify solutions that may be taken at national and/or regional levels. Four responses were received at the time of writing (see Tables 4 and 5. Interestingly, while there was some repetition they tended to enhance the constraints identified at national level, and included:
adequate means of control;
technical means of inspection;
proper input and output control mechanism and catch verification system;
qualified human resources;
adequate legislative measures;
technical and scientific support; and
- GFCM register of authorized vessel that defines the type of vessel authorized, the duties of a flag state and the consequences for vessels not included in the register.
significant economic gains available through IUU fishing;
insufficient level of fishers awareness on responsible exploitation; and
absence of internationally approved control measures and the diversity of such measures encourage the development of IUU fishing above all in international waters.
Some suggested solutions to the above constraints were:
more effective use of enforcement units;
use of VMS in association with electronic logbooks;
implementation of an appropriate system of inspection;
GFCM establishment of an IUU Vessel List and actions to be taken against these vessels;
GFCM establishment of an Authorized Vessel List;
providing the necessary means and capabilities;
integrating considerations relating to economic gain of IUU fishers into policies and wider initiatives;
formulation and adoption of new measures in view of recent data available; and
enhancing awareness and sensitization of fishers.
Although the four responses do not constitute a significant proportion of GFCM Members, they reflect some general concerns in the region.
3. Practical implications of the decision to adopt a step-by-step approach, including the establishment of vessel lists
3.1 Practical implications - general
As noted above, the 2003 Ministerial Declaration invited GFCM to adopt at its twenty-ninth session measures based on the FAO IPOA-IUU with priority for establishing procedures for identifying vessels carrying out IUU activities (black list), as well as action to be taken against these vessels, and furthermore, drawing up registers of vessels authorized to fish (white list).
For purposes of this paper, and to harmonize the language with its use in the IPOA-IUU and by other RFMOs, these lists will be respectively referred to as "IUU Vessel List" (IUU List) and "Authorized Vessel List" (AV List).
Adoption of a step-by-step approach should take into account the priorities of the GFCM, constraints in implementing the IPOA-IUU, precedent in other RFMOs (particularly ICCAT as appropriate), and the need for integrated management, cost-effectiveness and capacity development in setting its agenda. The fact that many other RFMOs have paved the way by already taking measures to implement the IPOA-IUU should facilitate the task of GFCM.
Practical implications of adopting a step-by-step approach would include the need to establish a working group or groups for specified purposes. Mandate(s) could include review and recommendation of specified steps, such as development of IUU and AV Lists, and recommendation of other steps as appropriate, together with proposed priorities and a timetable. This should include liaison with other RFMOs which have already taken the recommended steps, and can encompass a review of other steps taken by RFMOs.
3.2 Practical implications - establishment of an Authorized Vessel List
The agreement to establish AV Lists and IUU Lists as a first step, noted above, is consistent with the measures encouraged by the IPOA-IUU. Most RFMOs have established lists of vessels authorized to fish and exchange them. Some elements of AV Lists required by some RFMOs are shown in Table 7 (p. 70). A number of RFMOs also maintain a record of IUU fishing vessels, and have adopted criteria for presuming that a vessel is engaged in IUU fishing activities and therefore can be put on the IUU List. The presumption usually relies on the fact that the vessel is fishing in the Area of Competence, without being on the AV List.
The elements of such lists are similar for some RFBs that have mandates over similar species, but others tailor the lists to their specific needs. For the GFCM region, however, the AV List would likely be region-specific because it would relate to vessels authorized to fish for species subject to GFCM management measures.
As noted above, most RFMOs have established and maintain an AV list. There are many benefits of adopting an AV List, including:
promoting compliance in the area of competence;
establishing a framework for flag state responsibility; and
providing a basis for exchange of information among members and with other RFMOs.
For GFCM, an objective could be to support compliance with GFCM conservation and management measures. Consideration could be given to noting special features of the measures, such as their application to fishing designated shared stocks by vessels greater than a designated size, or fishing within areas of national jurisdiction of any GFCM member, including the flag state. There are two main issues in deciding this:
whether to exclude the species covered by ICCAT in the spirit of cooperating with requirements of its existing lists;
a decision on the requirements for minimum vessel size, which could take into account the GFCM/SAC vessel segmentation and operational units.
The procedure to develop an AV List would entail steps along the following lines.
1. Consider the mechanism for adopting the list. This is normally done as a resolution or recommendation of the RFMO, but has also been included in RFBs conservation and enforcement measures or as part of a general Scheme of Control and Enforcement. The RFBs that have adopted the latter two mechanisms have also adopted regional inspection schemes, complete with agreed regional rules, inspectors and procedures.
2. Agreement that only vessels on the AV List will be entitled to engage in fishing activities subject to GFCM management measures. This can be reinforced through inclusion of a deeming clause: non-listed vessels can be "deemed not to be authorized to fish for, retain on board, transship or land" stocks subject to GFCM management measures.
3. Defining vessels:
authorized vessels (e.g. authorized by flag state in accordance with GFCM management measures); and
minimum requirements for vessels to be listed, such as the size (e.g. 12 m or more).
4. Deciding whether the list of authorized vessels should be open only to Members or to cooperating non-members as well.
5. If it is to be open to cooperating non-members, GFCM should determine the criteria for achieving the status of cooperating non-members.
6. Deciding on the information to be maintained on the list.
7. Deciding on the mechanisms for information collection and dissemination.
8. Establishing confidentiality requirements as appropriate.
9. Deciding on the mechanism for establishment and administration of the AV List; depending on the scope and duties related to this List, associated Lists and information collection and dissemination functions, this could involve assigning a person full time to the task.
10. Deciding on the information to be submitted, in accordance with the IPOA-IUU and other international fisheries instruments.
11. Agreeing on measures that the flag states of authorized vessels must take under national legislation to ensure compliance, which could be based on the ICCAT Recommendation on the Duties of Contracting Parties and Cooperating Non-Contracting Parties, Entities or Fishing Entities in Relation to their Vessels Fishing in the ICCAT Convention Area.
12. Agreeing on measures flag states must take to validate statistical information as appropriate.
13. Deciding on publicity and dissemination, such as through the GFCM website and with other RFBs as appropriate.
14. Adopting a resolution or other form of decision that specifies the requirements. Such a resolution may state that vessels not entered into the record are deemed not to be authorized to fish for, retain on board, transship or land the species subject to GFCM management measures.
15. Making institutional arrangements to implement the resolution/decision.
16. Encouraging flag states that submit vessels for the AV List to ensure that their national legislation and institutional capacity are able to implement the agreed requirements.
3.3 Practical implications - establishment of an IUU Vessel List and actions to be taken against IUU Vessels
Many RFMOs have established criteria in accordance with the IPOA-IUU for a presumption of IUU fishing and listing IUU fishing vessels, including those presumed to be fishing. The objectives of establishing such a list include allowing for identification and control of IUU fishing, and providing for measures to be taken against vessels on the IUU List. In establishing an IUU Vessel List, care should be taken to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and effective, and that eventualities that would allow for delisting are addressed, such as change of ownership or conclusion of judicial process.
A table showing some key representative measures adopted by two RFMOs relating to the establishment of IUU Lists, is in Tables 8.1 and 8.2. It reflects the need for development of criteria and procedures at regional level, a mechanism agreed with Members for sightings, inspections and follow-up, clear communication responsibilities involving the Secretariat, Members, IUU vessel, flag states and other RFMOs as appropriate, mechanisms at national level for imposition of sanctions and initiation of legal proceedings as appropriate and enough institutional capacity at both levels to implement and maintain the IUU List.
Based on existing practice of other RFMOs, it is suggested that steps along the following lines would need to be considered in establishing an IUU List together with actions to be taken against IUU vessels.
1. Decision on mechanism within GFCM for adopting the IUU List.
2. Defining the circumstances where the presumption will apply, including considerations such as excluding vessels on the AV List, including a sighting by a specified authority/authorities of an unauthorized vessel fishing for fisheries subject to GFCM management measures, extending to transshipment of IUU caught fish, other related activities as appropriate.
3. Defining procedures for sighting and reporting a vessel involved in IUU fishing activities that undermine GFCM management measures. These could include:
specifying the reporting authorities;
information to be communicated to Secretariat;
details of Secretariats duty to transmit information onward;
procedure for sighting party to communicate with IUU fishing vessel;
other surveillance procedure as appropriate.
4. Procedures for inspection at sea as appropriate.
5. Procedures for inspection in port as appropriate, including prohibition of landing, transshipping IUU caught fish.
6. Procedures for notification of presumed IUU fishing activities to flag state, and requesting that enquiries, measures be taken against vessel.
7. Procedures and criteria for provisional and confirmed lists of IUU vessels. This should include criteria for including vessels on a provisional list, requirements for the Secretariat to communicate with Members in order that they may provide evidence, comments, etc. and possibly review by a Working Group of GFCM to recommend the vessels to be confirmed by the Commission as IUU vessels.
8. Criteria for removal of vessels from IUU Vessel List, for example change of ownership or because the flag state has taken effective action such as imposition of sanctions.
9. Action to be taken by GFCM Members against vessels on IUU List. Such action could include the following:
where possible, initiate legal proceedings and ensure that fines and penalties are of adequate severity to provide a deterrent effect;
prohibit licensing of IUU vessels fishing in the Area of Competence;
prohibit their flag vessels from transshipment or other activities with vessels on IUU List;
prohibit supply to IUU vessels;
inspect IUU vessels in port;
prohibit chartering IUU vessels;
refuse registration to IUU vessels;
prohibit imports and exports of fish caught by IUU vessels;
encourage importers, etc. not to deal with fish caught by IUU vessels;
report to GFCM, as appropriate.
10. Harmonize national legislation, to the extent possible, to facilitate the above activities, including inspections, the initiation of legal proceedings and allowing for the imposition of deterrent fines and penalties, especially for offences that may be identified as serious offences by GFCM, consistent with international law.
4 Practical implications of elements of the 2003 Ministerial Declaration
The 2003 Ministerial Declaration recognizes that the success of a sustainable policy for the management and conservation of fishery resources involves the implementation by the GFCM of an appropriate system of inspection tailored to the specific nature of Mediterranean fisheries. It invited the GFCM to adopt in 2004 policy guidelines of a control scheme with the aim of progressively developing measures defining in particular the obligations of the Parties, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port.
The 2003 Ministerial Declaration took the view that the system of inspection should be based on the following principles:
(a) It must be in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement establishing the GFCM and relevant existing international law.
(b) The emphasis must be placed on the primary responsibility of the flag state as well as on the responsibility of the port state and of the coastal state to ensure compliance with management measures.
(c) Account must be taken of the cost-effectiveness of both the general measures applicable to all fisheries and the specific measures applicable on a case-by-case basis to certain fisheries.
Development of principles for a system of inspection and the formulation of policy guidelines are considered below.
4.2 Developing principles on which to base the implementation by GFCM of an appropriate system of inspection tailored to the specific nature of the Mediterranean fisheries
The development of systems of inspection through RFMOs has gathered momentum over the past decade, in accordance with relevant international law and principles. Systems have been developed for inspection both in port and at sea, and a summary of relevant measures and institutional arrangements taken by some RFMOs is in Table 9. Many of these systems may not be applicable to the nature of the Mediterranean fisheries, because of factors such as:
a negligible IUU high seas reported catch for non-tuna species in the Mediterranean as noted above;
the relatively elaborate institutional arrangements that exist in the RFMOs and their member states to carry out implementation responsibilities as indicated in Table 9;
the lack of appropriate capacity and equipment of some GFCM Members;
the indication by a number of GFCM Members in response to the FAO and GFCM questionnaires that mounting such inspections may not be priorities.
However, many of the principles upon which these systems are based could be relevant to any future GFCM inspection policy or initiative, to the extent that they are consistent with international law and applicable to the nature of Mediterranean fisheries.
Prior to considering the principles that may be appropriate for GFCM, it is suggested that a decision be taken first, based on a needs assessment, that a system of inspection should be established.
At such time as the principles underlying an inspection system may be considered, it is suggested that they be as broad as possible. This would acknowledge the fact that GFCM Members may not have considered elements of a system of inspection, including policy guidelines or its objective and scope. Further, adoption of broad principles would promote open-ended consideration of an inspection system appropriate for Mediterranean fisheries, and, should such a system be agreed, the elements it might contain.
Some basic principles for an inspection system that could be considered appear below. While the principles elaborated in the 2003 Ministerial Declaration have been included, some amendments, as noted, are suggested for consideration:
(a) A system of inspection must be in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement establishing the GFCM and relevant international law (note that the GFCM Agreement would need to be reviewed to establish whether an amendment is needed to accommodate an inspection scheme).
(b) The emphasis must be placed on the primary responsibility of the flag state as well as on the responsibility of the port state and of the coastal state, as may be appropriate, to ensure compliance with the management measures designated under an agreed GFCM inspection scheme.
or: The emphasis must be placed on the primary responsibility of the flag state to ensure compliance with the management measures designated under an agreed system of inspection, and must take full account of the rights and duties of port states and coastal states to take measures in accordance with international law and an agreed system of inspection to promote the effectiveness of GFCM fisheries conservation and management measures.
(c) The GFCM system of inspection must be cost-effective.
(d) The GFCM system of inspection must be non-discriminatory.
(e) Development of a system of inspection must be in accordance with policy guidelines for a control scheme adopted by GFCM.
It is suggested that the principles be considered together with policy guidelines on a control scheme, described in the next section.
4.3 Formulation of policy guidelines on a control scheme, with the aim of progressively developing measures defining, in particular, the obligations of Members, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port
In considering the formulation of policy guidelines on a control scheme, the objectives of such a scheme should first be identified - for example to control fishing for all or some specified species, fisheries or stocks subject to GFCM conservation and management measures. In this context, the issue of whether to include tuna and tuna-like species in such a scheme should be considered, mindful of cooperation with ICCAT, as should the scope of the GFCM management measures and the incidence of fishing for non-tuna marine species. A decision on the objective would be instrumental in guiding the formulation of the scope and other elements of such a policy.
Second, the principles on which the policy guidelines are based should be agreed, noting the discussion above.
Third, the scope of the policy should be considered. Some relevant issues are: the type of activities the policy should embrace, the area or stocks to which it should be applied, the financial, institutional and capacity considerations in implementation and technological capabilities. Various RFMOs have adopted control schemes that have a very broad scope, featuring RFMO-authorized high seas inspectors and special pennants for boarding and inspection activities. However, these may or may not be relevant to GFCM, in terms of the differences in mandate, fisheries and stocks to be managed, membership, geographical considerations and institutional capabilities.
Some types of activities that could form the scope of a control scheme are suggested below. The scope should be identified, bearing in mind cost-effective and efficient means of attaining the agreed objective of the policy.
(a) Activities that could be carried out by the Secretariat with the cooperation of the members, in a cost-effective manner. These activities would likely require additional personnel and some focused review by a subsidiary body of GFCM. Examples of such activities would include the following:
establishing databases for members on fishing vessels and operational units, and cooperating with members to exchange relevant information with the Secretariat and other members as appropriate (i.e. a continuation of the MedFisis project);
establishing and maintaining registers authorized and IUU fishing vessels and making information available to Members and other RFMOs as appropriate for their follow-up action;
promoting harmonization among Members in such areas as data and information collection and exchange (e.g. through agreed reporting forms and requirements) and legal provisions (e.g. for specified MCS requirements, and for sanctions against IUU fishing such as prohibition of landings, transshipments, trade, and appropriately high penalties for serious offences).
(b) Activities that would require more significant institutional strengthening for GFCM and capacity development, legal reform and institutional strengthening in many Members.
A system of inspection that may, inter alia, comprise the following elements:
monitoring of landings, catches and fishing effort, including statistical follow-up for management purposes;
port inspections - by inspectors authorized by the port state, possibly in accordance with GFCM guidelines;
inspections at sea - by inspectors authorized by GFCM and/or Member States;
procedures for inspections in port and at sea;
procedures for investigation and action following an alleged violation of GFCM conservation and management measures, including procedures for exchanging information;
- provisions for appropriate action when inspections reveal serious violations, and follow-up with a view to securing the effective exercise of flag state responsibility.
The use of new technologies on a regional basis, discussed below, such as VMS and electronic logbooks.
Fourth, once the objective and scope of the policy guidelines are determined, a process for identification and prioritization of outputs could be addressed. This could include:
establishment of a special working group to review, elaborate and prioritize specific activities in view of the objective and scope of the policy guidelines;
identification of some specific activities to be considered by the special working group for implementation - these could include, as suggested in the 2003 Ministerial Declaration, progressively developing measures defining the obligations of Members, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port, to the extent that they fall within the agreed scope of the control scheme (described further below);
liaison by the special working group with other RFMOs that have implemented the specific activities identified;
setting a target date if appropriate for the report of the special working group.
If it is decided to progressively develop measures defining the obligations of Members, use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port, the decision should be taken with the fullest understanding possible of what may be involved. While is not possible to explain what is involved without a decision as to the scope of the activities that may be agreed, a profile of some relevant considerations is provided here to enhance the appreciation of what may be involved.
Obligations of Members: The obligations associated with improved control systems could include such areas as human capacity development, institutional strengthening, law reform, dedicated time, personnel for regional initiatives, acquisition and maintenance of appropriate technology and attendant financial obligations. In the case of developing coastal states, it would mean ensuring that appropriate financial assistance and scientific and technical support is obtained. In particular, many Members would need to ensure that trained personnel is available for carrying out tasks such as inspection and enforcement, scientific functions, legal development and enforcement, and the use of new technologies. The formulation of a specific regional support project could be considered in this regard.
Use of new technologies: The term "new technologies" refers to a range of items, including: computerized databases; automatic cross-checking facilities of these information systems; VMS information integrated with the data contained in the computerized catch and effort registration systems; and electronic fishing logbooks and remote sensing by satellite as a complementary tool to VMS. Before embarking on a course to define measures for the use of new technologies, it may first be useful to take an inventory of existing MCS practices and technologies in GFCM Members, particularly databases and fisheries enforcement activities. An analysis of Members practices and policies that govern fisheries enforcement would be useful as part of a systematic assessment of the need for new technologies. It could also be instructive to understand the effectiveness of existing arrangements in terms of the impact on the fisheries, and whether the use of all the new technologies described above, or some of them, would be appropriate for the fisheries concerned.
Mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port: A progressive development of measures defining mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port would depend on a decision by GFCM that such an inspection scheme should be developed, which has significant financial implications, and should be preceded by consideration of the fisheries and stocks within GFCMs mandate that should fall within an inspection system, if at all; whether IUU fishing for such fisheries and stocks is significant; and if so, whether IUU fishing can be successfully deterred through a cost-effective inspection system.
Otherwise, measures defining inspection mechanisms at sea and in port are complex and comprehensive, as shown in Table 9. RFMOs that have adopted such procedures generally have a mandate over a wide area of high seas where significant IUU fishing is taking place. Consideration of current trends towards extending jurisdiction would have to be taken into account as well.
Measures to develop such mechanisms would need to be taken at national and regional levels, and would include: agreed basis for inspection at sea and in port; agreed purposes of inspection; agreed boarding and inspection procedures for high seas inspections; a joint inspection and surveillance scheme; an agreed protocol regarding the authorization of the inspectors, and national laws stating the inspectors authorities, required procedures and reporting responsibilities (that had been agreed at regional level); minimum standards in conducting inspections; designating what inspections are to include (e.g. vessels documents, log books, fishing gear, catch on board and any other matter relating to the vessels activities in the GFCM area), prohibitions if inspection produces evidence of IUU fishing, such as landing, transshipment, etc.; requirements for transmission of information regarding the results of inspection; other procedures for the Secretariat and national authorities to take for follow-up action; requiring national governments to adopt laws that provide for appropriate sanctions for vessels that do not comply with inspections or enforcement, and that provide for activities on the high seas if appropriate; establishing or designating a subsidiary body in GFCM to monitor, report and make recommendations in relation to the inspections; and other institutional strengthening of GFCM.
5 Summary options for consideration for establishment of a special working group
It is clear that the topics covered in this "Review of activity, measures and other considerations relating to IUU fishing in the Mediterranean" raise a number of issues that should be further considered by GFCM. Because of the complexity of the issues and the potential benefits of identifying the most effective and efficient way forward, some options are presented below for consideration for establishment of a special working group. They are based on the 2003 Ministerial Declaration which, as noted above, invited the GFCM to adopt at its twenty-ninth session:
effective measures to combat IUU fishing, with priority to establishing an IUU Vessel List, as well as actions to be taken against these vessels, and drawing up registers of vessels authorized to fish (AV list); and
the policy guidelines of a control scheme with the aim of progressively developing measures defining in particular the obligations of the Parties, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea and in port.
This review has examined aspects of each of these points, and in addition has reported information on the Mediterranean fisheries, Members laws and implementation of the IPOA-IUU, including MCS capabilities. In general, although initiatives such as MedFisis and the regional legal review have taken steps to make it increasingly possible to work from a broader information basis, it appears that there is significant scope for further activities to harmonize and strengthen efforts to combat IUU fishing. However, such activities should be identified and pursued on the basis of the management objectives and measures of GFCM, and of a realistic evaluation of the needs and capabilities of GFCM and its membership.
For that reason, a special working group should be established to review and make recommendations on mechanisms, principles and policy guidelines to combat IUU fishing ("The Special Working Group on IUU Fishing Activities", or SWG-IUU). Some options for consideration relating to the establishment and terms of reference of the SWG-IUU appear below.
1. The SWG-IUU should be comprised of a balance of Members, representing GFCM subregions equitably.
2. The SWG-IUU should take note of information in the present Review of Activity, including:
the circumstances of IUU fishing specific to the Mediterranean and to the mandate and activities of GFCM;
existing information on relevant legal and MCS capabilities, constraints and needs of GFCM Members;
the management objectives and measures of GFCM;
the practical implications of the Commissions decision at the twenty-eighth session to adopt a step-by-step approach to combating IUU fishing;
the practical implications of the 2003 Ministerial Declaration.
3. In view of its conclusions reached under item 2 above, the SWG-IUU should recommend the next steps to be taken by GFCM to combat IUU fishing, either generally or specifically. General steps may include, inter alia, further information gathering and assessment; specific needs assessment; and liaison with other RFMOs. Specifically, the SWG-IUU should assess and make recommendations on the advantages and/or disadvantages involved in GFCM adopting the following actions and measures, and as appropriate propose priority steps:
the establishment of an IUU Vessel List, including cost/benefit, procedures, institutional arrangements and a timetable;
the establishment of an Authorized Vessel List, including cost/benefit, procedures institutional arrangements and a timetable;
the development of a system of inspection tailored to the specific nature of the Mediterranean fisheries, and principles upon which to base such a system;
formulation of policy guidelines on a control scheme with the aim of progressively developing measures defining, in particular, the obligations of Members, the use of new technologies and mechanisms for inspection at sea or in port.
It is foreseen that, in taking a step-by-step approach, and ensuring that effective steps are taken in response to clear needs and capabilities in the GFCM region, the SWG-IUU will be able to steward an active and meaningful role for GFCM over time in efforts to combat IUU fishing.
|  This appendix was originally
circulated as the background working document for the GFCM Workshop held
on 23 and 26 June 2004. Published here with slight editorial modifications
with respect to the original working document, it contains the full report
of the development initiatives to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated
(IUU) fishing activities. It refers to issues relating to implementation
of the IPOA-IUU in the Mediterranean (Black Sea excluded), and the progress
and constraints of GFCM members in combating IUU fishing activities. In
particular, it refers to adoption of national plans of action and related
instruments by GFCM members, existing national law relating to monitoring,
control and surveillance (MCS), and existing MCS technical capacity among
members. Efforts to identify and quantify IUU fishing activities in the
Mediterranean are reported, and members constraints in addressing
these activities are reviewed. Practical implications of decisions relating
to steps GFCM may consider taking are described, and summary options for
consideration for establishment of a special working group are recommended.
 These are described in detail in GFCM/XXVIIII/Inf.6.
 Report of the twenty-fifth session, paras. 33 and 35. The Secretariat was asked to address this situation using all means available.
 The 2002 EC Community Action Plan for conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in the Mediterranean Sea under the Common Fisheries Policy, approved by the EC Council.
 Report of the twenty-eighth session, paras. 53 and 54.
 Ministerial Declaration, paras. 8 and 9.
 The principles specified are that (a) it must be in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement establishing the GFCM and relevant existing international law; (b) the emphasis must be placed on the primary responsibility of the flag state as well as on the responsibility of the port state and of the coastal state to ensure compliance with management measures; and (c) account must be taken of the cost-effectiveness of both the general measures applicable to all fisheries and the specific measures applicable on a case-by-case basis to certain fisheries.
 The instruments include the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its International Plans of Action.
 See J. Swan, International action and responses by Regional Fishery Bodies or Arrangements to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, FAO Fisheries Circular, No. 996, Rome, 2004 (64 p).
 Specifically, promoting implementation of MCS by members in their jurisdictions, real-time catch and vessel monitoring systems, monitoring landings and regulation of transshipment.
 Algeria, Cyprus, EC, Egypt, Japan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.
 Except for capacity strengthening.
 Several indicated this was not applicable, or "n/a".
 Several indicated "n/a", but advance notice of entry into port is required by six respondents.
 Algeria, EU, Italy, Japan, Libyan A.J. and Turkey.
 Including responsibilities of all states, flag states, coastal states and port states, internationally agreed market measures and research, as well as through regional fisheries management organizations and special requirements of developing countries.
 The reviews respectively cover: CopeMed - Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libyan A.J., Malta, Italy, France, Spain and the European Union; and AdriaMed - Albania, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. The CopeMed review shows great variances in marine fisheries management frameworks and measures. For the most part commercial fishing within areas of national jurisdiction is reserved for national flag vessels, and only four countries require authorizations for national fishing vessels to fish beyond areas of national jurisdiction. Access agreements are usually required for non-national vessels. It provides for a comparative table on fishing effort showing by country a variety of measures, including limitation of fishing licenses and effort by areas/seasons, and management by quota or total allowable catch (TAC). All states have regulations on minimum size of fish and gear or fishing methods. Most regulate the length, tonnage and power of vessels. The AdriaMed review describes inter alia access regimes, conservation and management measures and MCS. It shows a wide variety of practices with respect to licensing for the various subsectors, effort and gear limitation and fisheries reserves, and for MCS purposes, registers, landing requirements, data collection, and observers.
 P. Cacaud, Fisheries laws and regulation in the Mediterranean: a comparative study, Studies and Reviews, General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, No. 75, Rome, FAO, 43p [in press].
 Paras. 34 - 40.
 Paras. 42, 42.1 - 42.6 and 43.
 Six countries: Albania, Libyan A.J., Malta, Slovenia, Spain and Syrian A. R., and the EU. No information was available for Greece and Lebanon.
 For example, Albania and Croatia distinguish between large and small vessels; in Albania, large vessels are defined as those having a deck.
 For example, registration of fishing vessels is a consequence of licensing rather than a prerequisite in Albania and Slovenia.
 Some countries require registers to be kept at local level and others at district or national level, or a combination of the levels.
 Albania, Algeria, Italy, Spain and Syrian A. R.
 For example, in Italy, any person having been convicted for more than five major violations of the fisheries law is barred from registration in the register of professional fishers.
 Paragraph 47.8. of the IPOA-IUU.
 Including Albania, Cyprus, Egypt, EU, France, Libyan A.J., Malta, Morocco, Syrian A.R. and Turkey.
 Paragraph 24.10.
 Albania, Croatia, Malta, Spain, Slovenia, Syrian A.R. and Tunisia are cited in the review, and it is noted that while no specific provisions with respect to inspection were found in the legislation of other countries, it is likely that enforcement officers in the other countries are also empowered to inspect fishing vessels.
 EU Member States are authorized to:
(a) inspect Community vessels flying their flag in all Community waters outside waters under the sovereignty of another Member State;
(b) carry out inspections in accordance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) relating to fishing activities in all Community waters outside waters under their sovereignty on fishing vessels, only:
(c) inspect Community fishing vessels flying the flag of another Member
State in international waters.
 Such as the following, under paragraph 47.2:
 Para. 47.3.
 Paragraph 50.
 For example, CCAMLR,
CCSBT, CTMFM, FFA, IATTC, IBSFC, ICCAT, IPHC, NAFO, NEAFC.