Somalia is Ready to License Fishing Vessels After Becoming Signatory to IOTC

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has signed several bill into law at the end of last month. Among the bills the has signed was the Somali Fisheries Development and Management law. Today, the Fisheries minister, Ahmed Adan Hassan, has posted a tweet on his account announcing the signing of a robust and comprehensive regulation inline with IOTC requirements.

What is IOTC?

The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) requires all vessels that fish for tuna in the Indian Ocean to be licensed. The IOTC is an international organization that manages tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean. The IOTC's licensing requirements are designed to ensure that tuna fisheries are managed sustainably and that all vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are accountable for their catches.

The IOTC's licensing requirements include the following:

  • Vessels must be registered with a flag state that is a member of the IOTC. This means that the vessel must be owned and operated by a company or individual that is a citizen of a country that is a member of the IOTC.
  • Vessels must be inspected by the flag state to ensure that they meet the IOTC's safety and environmental standards. This inspection will typically include a review of the vessel's documentation, such as its registration certificate and safety management plan, as well as an inspection of the vessel's hull, equipment, and fishing gear.
  • Vessels must be fitted with Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) that allow the IOTC to track their movements.VMS are satellite-based systems that transmit the vessel's position and speed to the IOTC on a regular basis. This allows the IOTC to monitor the vessel's activities and to ensure that it is not fishing in areas that are closed to fishing or that it is not exceeding its catch limits.
  • Vessels must report their catches to the IOTC on a regular basis. This reporting must include information on the species of tuna caught, the quantity caught, and the location of the catch. This information allows the IOTC to monitor the status of tuna stocks and to ensure that catches are not exceeding sustainable levels.

The IOTC's licensing requirements are an important tool for managing tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean. By requiring all vessels to be licensed, the IOTC can ensure that tuna fisheries are managed sustainably and that all vessels operating in the Indian Ocean are accountable for their catches.

By: Abdirahman Dahir (Samawade).

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