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South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement to be Fully Operational by 2016

Sustainability Politics

GLOBAL - The European Commission has welcomed the outcome of the meeting which affirmed that the South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) will become a fully operational Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) within the next year.

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The members of the SIOFA held an extraordinary meeting in Brussels (12 - 16 October 2015) in which they agreed on a number of important administrative and financial issues, including the Rules of Procedures, the Terms of Reference for subsidiary bodies, as well as the roadmap and the procedures for the recruitment of the Executive Secretary.

Important progress has also been achieved on the financial regulation of SIOFA. The final revision and approval of these documents will be done in the next meeting in June 2016 in La Reunion, where SIOFA will be based.

SIOFA is a non-tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) which completes the coverage of RFMOs in the Indian Ocean.

The objectives of SIOFA are to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources through cooperation and to promote the sustainable development of fisheries, taking into account the needs of its members and in particular the least-developed and small island states. The SIOFA Area of Competence covers the high seas between eastern Africa and Western Australia. SIOFA is adjacent to the Convention Area of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in the south, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) Convention Area in the east and the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) Convention Area to the west.

At present, the members of SIOFA are: Australia, Cook Islands, the EU, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius and Seychelles.