Cape Town Agreement on safety adopted
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) conference of fishing vessel safety, held last week in Cape Town, South Africa, has adopted a new agreement on fishing vessel safety.
The agreement will be known as the “Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the Implementation of the Provisions of the 1993 Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977”.
In ratifying the agreement, Parties agree to amendments to the provisions of the 1993 Protocol, so that they can come into force as soon as possible thereafter.
The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 will enter into force 12 months after at least 22 States express their consent to be bound by it.
The Agreement will be open for signature at IMO Headquarters from 11 February 2013 to 10 February 2014 and will remain open for accession.
The safety of fishermen and fishing vessels forms an integral part of IMO’s mandate but the international instruments on fishing vessel safety which have previously been adopted by the Organization have not come into force due to a variety of technical and legal obstacles. Fishing at sea remains a hazardous occupation and the sector experiences a large number of fatalities every year. Bringing into force a binding international safety regime is expected to play a part in helping to improve safety standards and reduce the loss of life.