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.
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.
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.
The ILO estimated in 1999 that 24,000 people die every year in the fishing sector, an amount 10 times more than merchant ships. However, fishing vessels are excluded from almost all international maritime regulations. The 2012 Cape Town Agreement wants to stop that and outlines fishing vessel standards.
The ‘Human Trafficking and IUU Fishing Act’ would add the Secretary of Commerce to the President’s existing Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, in response to the growing human trafficking, forced labor, and human rights abuses in global seafood supply chain.
MSC 99 will examine how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships may be introduced in IMO instruments. Previous Committee had recognized that IMO should take a proactive and leading role on this issue, given the rapid developments.
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