Mauritius will host the 3rd Meeting of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) Compliance Committee and the 6th Meeting of Parties from 27 to 29 June 2019 and from 1 to 5 July 2019, respectively. Some 35 participants from Member States are expected to attend the 3rd SIOFA Compliance Committee whereas 50 participants would attend the 6th Meeting of Parties.
The Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA), which is a multilateral agreement, was signed in Rome on 7 July 2006 at the Food and Agriculture Organisation and entered into force in June 2012. To date, SIOFA has nine Contracting Parties, namely Australia, Cook Islands, European Union, France on behalf of its Indian Ocean Territories, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius, Seychelles and Thailand, and one cooperating non-Contracting Party, Comoros.
The objectives of this multilateral agreement are: to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the fishery resources in the waters beyond national jurisdiction in the Southern Indian Ocean region Area through cooperation among the Contracting Parties; and, to promote the sustainable development of fisheries, taking into account the needs of developing States bordering the Area that are Contracting Parties to this Agreement, and in particular the least developed among them and Small Island Developing States.
Meeting of the Parties
The first Meeting of the Parties was held in Australia in October 2013. Proposals and Working Papers are mainly discussed at these Meetings.
The second Meeting of the Parties was held in Mauritius in March 2015 where it was decided that the Headquarters of the Parties will be based in Reunion Island. At the third Meeting of the Parties, held in Reunion Island in July 2016, important administrative steps were finalised to enable SIOFA to become fully operational including the selection of an Executive Secretary, and the selection of Chairperson and vice-Chairperson.
Staff regulations, financial regulations, budgets were approved and a Headquarters Agreement was also signed between France and SIOFA. In addition, seven important Conservation and Management Measures were adopted. All these achievements combine to lay the foundations of a management framework to ensure the long-term sustainability of fishery resources and protection the marine Environment in the SIOFA Agreement Area.