Following an EU ban on cod fishing in Baltic Sea in late July, the Commission has recently made a new proposal in an effort to reinforce control and data collection in the area and assist all fishermen affected by the closure of the Easter Baltic cod fishery. Namely, the Commission suggests that from 2020, those vessels should be equipped with a vessel monitoring system or other equivalent electronic monitoring system and have observers onboard. This would allow scientists to gather more and better data on the stock.
48 states signed a public declaration to indicate their determination to ratify the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety at a Ministerial Conference held in Torremolinos, Spain. This is a significant regime to create much-needed safety standards for fishing vessels.
The 6th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW 6), held from 29 April to 3 May, marked progress with the review of the STCW Convention for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F), 1995, which entered into force in 2012.
HM Coast Guard presented a check list of compliance, highlighting the main requirements operators need to check in order to comply with ILO 188. ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention ILO 188, which came into force in the UK in December 2018, entitles all fishermen to written terms and conditions of employment.
Spain has become the latest country to accede to IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety, significantly boosting the number of vessels needed for entry into force. The entry into force of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement is expected to result in fewer accidents, and a more effective infrastructure for monitoring illegal fishing.
IMO is working to prevent accidents that occur when ships are being moored at their berth in a port. A SOLAS regulation that focuses on better protecting seafarers and shore-based mooring staff from injuries during mooring operations, is set to be finalized by the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) continue their South Pacific patrol in support of counter-Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and global security missions. Mellon’s crew is helping the Commission enforce its regulations on the tuna fishing industry, a $5 billion per year fishery that is essential to economies in the South Pacific.
Only fishing vessels with a bass authorisation issued by the MMO based on a track record of bass landings in the reference period 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2016 or a bass authorisation obtained via transfer onto a replacement vessel with no increase in tonnage or engine power will be able to land bass.
The New Zealand’s national regulatory, compliance and response agency for the safety, security and environmental protection of coastal and inland waterways, MaritimeNZ, reminds operators of New Zealand that they must install float-free EPIRB distress beacons on commercial fishing vessels by 1 January 2019. The regulation applies to vessels between 7.5 meters and 24 meters operating outside enclosed waters.
The US Senate has passed the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill 94-6, that provides several regulatory updates for the US fishing sector. Namely, the bill permanently exempts fishing vessels from EPA water discharge requirements. The bill also increased the size of new vessels that must be maintained to class standards.
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