Spain intends to organize in the second half of 2019 an international congress on the safety of fishing vessels, after adhering to the Cape Town Agreement, according to information provided by the Ministry of Development.
The ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom, Carlos Bastarreche, met with the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, Kitack Lim, to formalize the deposit of the instrument of adhesion of Spain to 2012 Cape Town Agreement, whose objective is to improve the safety of fishermen at sea while fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. To that end, the aim is to enable flag states, port states and coastal states to exercise better control over the safety conditions of fishing vessels.
Spain, as reported by the Ministry of Development becomes the eleventh contracting state of the Cape Town Agreement, contributing to the requirements for its future entry into force a total of 393 fishing vessels of 24 meters in length or more that operate in high seas. The fishing fleet that the Spanish Maritime Administration has notified to the IMO, represents 28% of the total fleet notified for the purpose of entering into force of the Agreement.
For such entry into force to occur, a minimum of 22 Contracting States is required, whose total number of fishing vessels of 24 m in length or more that operate on the high seas is 3,600. To date, only 10 Contracting States, with 1,020 fishing vessels, had ratified it. The adhesion of a fishing power like Spain is expected to encourage other countries with interests in this sector to follow in their footsteps.
In order to encourage other countries to join the agreement, the Ministry of Development has initiated contacts with the IMO to hold an international congress in Spain to address how to reduce the number of accidents and loss of life at sea and how to implement an infrastructure in the most effective international environment to control illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Fishing is considered one of the most dangerous professions in the world and it is estimated that thousands of fishermen lose their lives every year.