Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s Scientific Committee proposes an observer programme


The 11th Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC ) met in Mahé, Seychelles over 1-5 December 2008.


Among its work the Committee considered the report of the Fourth Session of its Working Party on Ecosystems and Bycatch (IOTC-2008-WPEB-R[E]), which had met previously in Bangkok, Thailand in October.


The WPEB report inter alia gives information on longline fishing by Taiwan in the Indian Ocean (IOTC-2008-WPEB-17).  Twenty-three observer trips were made on vessels from 2002 to 2006.  Average catch of seabirds was 0.048 birds per thousand hooks, to give a preliminary mean estimate of 1512 birds killed a year.  The WPEB encouraged Taiwan to continue its observer programme and to provide seabird identifications.


The Scientific Committee considered the need for an observer programme for all fishing vessels within the IOTC region.  Following discussion, there was unanimous support for a recommendation to be made to the next session of the Commission to this effect.


News from John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer with input from Ross Wanless, BirdLife Global Seabird Programme.  Posted 7 December 2008

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