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Peru accedes to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety

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Peru accedes to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety


Peru has shown its support for the safety of fishing vessels and their crews by depositing its instrument of accession to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement on 26 February. This makes it the 16th country to become a Contracting State to the Agreement, following in the footsteps of Croatia, which had acceded on 16 February.

The Agreement, once in force, will bring in mandatory international safety requirements for fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over, including provisions addressing stability and associated seaworthiness, machinery and electrical installations, life-saving appliances, communications equipment and fire protection, as well as fishing vessel construction.  

For the 2012 Cape Town Agreement to enter into force, at least 22 States, with an aggregate 3,600 fishing vessels meeting the length requirements operating on the high seas, must express their consent to be bound by it. It will enter into force 12 months after these conditions have been met. The Agreement will be a useful tool in combatting illegal, un-reported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and forced labour, as well as reducing pollution from fishing vessels, including marine debris.  

IMO has been spreading awareness of and building support for the Agreement via a series of regional webinars, organised and conducted in cooperation with The Pew Charitable Trusts. The first of these webinars, which was aimed at the Latin America and Caribbean region (23-24 November), was attended by 29 IMO Member States – including Peru. More recently, a second webinar was held aimed at the African region (23-24 February). The webinars provide a platform to get more insight into the Agreement and share lessons learned from States that have already ratified the Agreement or are currently in the process of doing so. 

The webinars are another step to get more countries to ratify the Cape Town Agreement, following the Torremolinos Ministerial Conference held in Spain in October 2019, which brought together some 120 States to discuss safe and legal fishing. More than 50 countries have signed the “Torremolinos Declaration”, indicating their determination to ratify the Cape Town Agreement by its tenth anniversary (i.e. 11 October 2022).   

There are, at present, 16 Contracting States to the Agreement with an aggregate number of 1433 qualifying fishing vessels. These are: Belgium, Congo, Cook Islands, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa and Spain.

Peru boasts a large fishing fleet and accounted for about 8% of the world catch in marine waters  according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Peru is also a signatory to the FAO’s 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. 

As the IMO Secretariat is offering bilateral meetings with the Member States to discuss their legal and technical assistance needs towards the ratification of the Agreement, they have been invited to fill in a questionnaire contained in Circular Letter No.4387, with the deadline of 1 April 2021. 

More information can be found on an easy guide to the 2012 Cape Town Agreement. 

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