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  1. Mission
  2. Area of competence
  3. Species and stocks coverage
  4. Legal framework
  5. Members
  6. Languages
  7. Structure
  8. Publications
  9. Contacts

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) is an intergovernmental organization mandated to manage tuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas. The objective of the Commission is to promote the conservation and optimal utilization of tuna and tuna-like stocks covered by the IOTC Agreement, and to encourage sustainable development of fisheries.

FunctionsIn accordance with Article V of the IOTC Agreement, the main functions of the IOTC are:
  • to keep under review the conditions and trends of the stocks and to gather, analyse and disseminate scientific information, catch and effort statistics and other relevant data;
  • to encourage, recommend and coordinate research and development activities in respect of the stocks and fisheries covered by the Agreement;
  • to adopt conservation and management measures on the basis of scientific evidence;
  • to keep under review the economic and social aspects of the fisheries, bearing in mind, in particular, the interests of developing coastal states.
Area of competence The Indian Ocean (defined for the purpose of the Agreement as being FAO Statistical Areas 51 and 57), and adjacent seas, north of the Antarctic Convergence, insofar as it is necessary to cover such seas for the purpose of conserving and managing stocks that migrate into or out of the Indian Ocean. In 1999, the Commission extended the western boundary of the IOTC statistical area from 30ºE to 20ºE, thus eliminating the gap in between the areas covered by the IOTC and ICCAT.
IOTC area of competence - High seas, National waters
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
Species and stocks coverageTuna and tuna-like species in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas – the exact list of species is available at http://iotc.org/about-iotc/competence. In addition, the Commission has instructed the Secretariat to collate data on non-target, associated and dependent species affected by tuna fishing operations, e.g. sharks and sea-birds. Legal framework

The Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission was concluded under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution. It was approved by the FAO Council in November 1993 and came into force upon accession of the tenth member in March 1996.

Agreement | Financial regulations | Rules and procedures (updated in 2014)
MembersCurrent membership:
Membership in the Commission is open to Members and Associate Members of FAO that are: (i) coastal States or Associate Members situated wholly or partly within the Area; (ii) States or Associate Members whose vessels engage in fishing in the Area for stocks covered by the Agreement; or (iii) regional economic integration organizations of which any State referred to in subparagraphs (i) or (ii) above is a member and to which that State has transferred competence over matters within the purview of the Agreement. Parties qualified to accede to the Commission may do so by depositing with the Director-General of FAO an instrument formally accepting to be bound by the conditions of the IOTC Agreement.

Member: Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, China, Comoros, Eritrea, European Union, France, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Rep. of), Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, United Rep. of Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, Yemen.

Cooperating Non-Contracting Party: Liberia, Senegal.

LanguagesEnglish, French. Structure

The governing body of the IOTC is the Commission. It is composed of all members and is empowered to adopt conservation and management measures. Conservation and management measures binding on members of the Commission must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting. Each member of the Commission has one vote. Individual members objecting to a decision are not bound by it. Non-binding recommendations concerning conservation and management of the stocks for furthering the objectives of the Agreement need only be adopted by a simple majority of its members present and voting. Sessions of the Commission are normally held annually.

The work of the Commission is assisted by a Scientific Committee, a Compliance Committee, and a Standing Committee on Administration and Finance, as well as numerous working parties.

Publications IOTC publications can be found at: http://www.iotc.org/documents


IOTC Secretariat

Le Chantier Mall (2nd floor)
PO Box 1011
Victoria Mahé

Telephone: (+248) 225494

Fax: (+248) 224364

Email: IOTC-Secretariat

Web site: http://www.iotc.org

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