Western Indian Ocean Tuna Organisation Convention (1991)

 

The Parties,

Recognising their common interests in the conservation, management and optimum utilization of the living marine resources of the Western Indian Ocean region and in particular of the highly migratory tuna and tuna-like species;

Desiring to cooperate with a view to ensuring the conservation, management and optimum utilization of tuna and tuna-like species in the Western Indian Ocean;

Considering the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea opened for signature on the 10th December 1992;

Desiring to promote regional cooperation and coordination in respect of fisheries policies;

Concerned to secure the maximum benefits from the tuna and tuna-like species of the region for their peoples;

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

 

Article 1   Establishment

1.  The contracting parties hereby establish the Western Indian Ocean Tuna Organisation (hereafter referred to as "the Organisation").

2.  The Organisation shall consist of a Board, a Committee and a Secretariat.

3.  The headquarters of the Organisation shall be in the Seychelles.

Article 2   Objectives

The objectives of the Organisation are to promote cooperation and coordination among its members in respect of, inter alia:

(a)  harmonization of policies with respect to fisheries;

(b)  relations with distant water fishing nations;

(c)  fisheries surveillance and enforcement according to arrangements which may be concluded;

(d)  fisheries development, in particular development of fishing capacity of members and fish technology, processing and marketing;

(e)  access to exclusive economic zones of Members, according to arrangements which may be concluded.

Article 3   Membership

1.   Membership of the Organisation shall be open to:

(a) any founding State described in Annex I;

(b) with unanimous approval of parties, any independent coastal State bordering the Western Indian Ocean whose territory is situated principally in the Western Indian Ocean region, having a common interest with parties in the conservation, management and optimum utilization of the highly migratory tuna and tuna-like species of the region occurring within and beyond its exclusive economic zone.

2.   For the purposes of this Article "Western Indian Ocean region" is the area described in Annex II.

Article 4   Board

1.  Each Member shall appoint to the Board one representative, who shall be the Minister responsible for fisheries, or any other Minister.

2.  The Board shall hold regular sessions at least once a year. A special session shall be held at least once a year. A special session shall be held at any time at the request of a majority of Members.

3.  The Board shall adopt such rules of procedure as it considers necessary.

4.  The Board shall determine the policy of the Organisation and may direct the Committee on any matter pertaining to the policies and functions of the Organisation.

Article 5   Committee

1. Each Member shall be represented on the Committee by the senior official responsible for fisheries or a related area.

2. The Board shall appoint a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen from among the Committee members on such conditions as it may determine.

3. The Committee shall meet as often as required and at least once a year.

4. The Committee shall endeavour to take decisions by consensus. In the absence of consensus, and unless otherwise provided in this Convention, a two-thirds majority of voting members shall be required for a decision.

5. The Committee shall adopt such rules of procedure and other internal administrative regulations as it considers necessary.

6. The Committee may establish such sub-committees, including technical and budget sub-committees, as it considers necessary.

7. The Committee shall act in an executive capacity and have the following functions and responsibilities, inter alia, to:

(a) provide technical advice and guidance to the Board;

(b) provide a forum for Members to consult together on any matter of common concern in relation to fisheries;

(c) provide direction to the Secretariat with respect to its functions and responsibilities;

(d) carry out such other functions as may be required.

Article 6   Secretariat

1. The Board shall appoint a Director and may appoint a Deputy Director of the Secretariat on such conditions as it may determine.

2. The Director may appoint such other staff in accordance with such rules and on such conditions as the Committee may determine.

3. The Secretariat shall, in accordance with the objects of the Organisation, have the following functions,

(a) collect, analyse, evaluate and distribute to Members relevant information on matters including:

(i) statistics on the living marine resources of the region and in particular tune and tuna like species;
(ii) fisheries management plans and procedures, legislation and agreements;
(iii) prices, transport, processing and marketing of fish and fish products;
(iv) fishing patterns and technology;
(v) fisheries surveillance and enforcement;

(b)   provide on request to any Member:

(i) technical advice and information;
(ii) assistance in any relevant matters;

(c) seek to establish working arrangements with relevant regional and international organisations;

(d) submit to the Committee an annual report, including audited financial statements, on the activities of the Organisation for the preceding year, and submit for approval a work programme and budget for the succeeding year;

(e) maintain effective relations with donor organisations;

(f) undertake such other functions an the Committee may direct.

Article 7   Funding

The organisation shall be funded by:

(a) contributions from Members;

(b) other sources including, grants, donations and other forms of assistance as may be from time to time agreed by the Board.

Article 8   Legal status, privileges and immunities

1. The Organisation shall have international legal personality and such legal capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of its purposes, in particular the capacity to conclude agreements at the international level to contract, to acquire and dispose of moveable and immoveable property and to sue and to be sued in accordance with its legal and diplomatic status.

2. Subject to approval by the Board, an agreement shall promptly be concluded between the Organisation and the Government of Seychelles, providing for such privileges and immunities as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the functions of the Organisation.

Article 9   Information

1. The Members shall, upon the request of the Secretariat, provide such available and accessible data and information as the Secretariat may need for the purposes of this Convention, including:

(a) copies of all relevant laws, regulations and administrative instructions, including those relating to the conservation and management of species covered by this Convention, and any amendment or repeal thereof;

(b) details on action taken with respect to decisions of the Committee.

2 All information, data and reports submitted to the Organisation by the Members shall be treated as confidential and utilised solely for the official purposes of the Organisation.

Article 10   Species

The species cove red by this Convention shall be those set out in Annex III.

Article 11   Depositary

The Government of Seychelles shall be the Depositary for this Convention.

Article 12   Signature, acceptance and entry into force

1. This Convention shall be open for signature by founding States referred to in Article 3.

2. Acceptance of this Convention shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Depositary.

3. This Convention shall enter into force on receipt of the third such instrument of acceptance.

Article 13   Accession

1. Pounding States and coastal States of the region referred to in Article 3 may, in accordance with the provisions of that Article, accede to this Convention by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Depositary.

2. Accession will be effective upon receipt of the instrument of acceptance by the Depositary.

Article 14   Reservations

No reservations may be made to this Convention.

Article 15   Amendment

1. Proposals for amendment may be made by any Member of the Board in writing, addressed to the Depositary, which shall promptly notify all Members of the Organisation.

2. Amendments shall be effective upon receipt by the Depositary of instruments of acceptance from two-thirds of the Members of the Organisation.

Article 16   Withdrawal

1. Any Member may withdraw from this Convention at any time after the expiry of two years from the date upon which this Convention entered into force with respect to that Member.

2. A withdrawal shall be in writing and addressed to the Depositary, which shall promptly notify all Members of the Organisation.

3.Such withdrawal shall become effective sixty days after receipt by the Depositary.

Article 17   Termination

This Convention shall be terminated if and when membership drops below three.

Article 18   Arbitration

1. Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this convention, if not settled by the parties or the Board shall be referred to an arbitration tribunal.

2. The tribunal shall be composed of three persons:

(a) one person appointed by each party to the dispute;

(b) an independent chairman, appointed by the Board in consultation with the Parties to the dispute.

3. In the event the Board determines that arrangements under paragraph 2 are impracticable, it shall appoint an independent person to establish the tribunal.

4.       (a) Unless the parties otherwise agree. the arbitration shall take place in a member country not party to the dispute.

(b)  The applicable rules of procedure for the tribunal shall be those in force in the member country where the arbitration takes place.

5. The decision of the tribunal shall be final and binding upon the parties to the dispute.

Article 19   Official Languages

The official languages of the Organisation shall be English and French.

 

DONE in MAHE, SEYCHELLES in English and French, each text being equally authentic, this 19 day of June 1991.

 

ANNEX I

In accordance with Article'3, the following are founding States for the purposes of this Convention:

Comores
India
Kenya
Madagasacar
Maldives
Mauritius
Mozambique
Seychelles
Sri Lanka
Tanzania

 

ANNEX II

In accordance with Article 3, the area o f the Western Indian Ocean region is as follows:

Starting along latitude 11o 00'N from the Eastern Coast of India and through the following coordinates:

Lat. 11o 00’N and long. 85o 00’E

Lat. 3o 00'N and long. 85o 000’E

Lat. 3o 00'N and long. 80o 00’E

Lat. 45o 00’S and long. 80o 00’E

Lat. 45o 00'S and long. 30o 00’E

and proceed along meridian 30o 00'E to the Coast of Africa.

 

ANNEX III

In accordance with Article 10, following are the tuna and tuna-like species, for the purposes of this Convention.

TUNA AND TUNA-LIKE SPECIES

ENGLISH NAME

FRENCH NAME

SCIENTIFIC NAME

1. Yellowfin tuna

Albacore

Thunnus albacares

2. Skipjack tuna

Listao

Katsuwonus pelamis

3. Bigeye tuna

Thon Obese

Thunnus obesus

4. Albacore tuna

Germon

Thunnus alalunga

5. Southern bluefin tuna

Thon rouge du sud

Thunnus maccoyii

6.Longtail tuna

Thon mignon

Thunnus tonggol

7. Frigate tuna

Auxide

Auxis thazard

8. Bullet tuna

Bonite

Auxis rochel

9. Kawakawa

Thonine oriental

Euthynus affinis

10. Marrow-barred Spanish mackerel

Thazard raye (Indo-Pacifique)

Scomberomorus commerson

11. Indo-Pacific King mackerel

Thazard ponctue (Indo-Pacilifique)

Scomberomorus guttatus

12. Indo-Pacific blue marlin

Makaire bleu (Indo-Pacifique)

Makalra mazara

13. Black marlin

Makaire noir

Makaira indica

14. Striped marlin

Makaire rouge

Tetrapturus audax

15. Indo-Pacific sailfish

Violier (Indo-Pacifique)

Istlophorus platypterus

16. Swordfish

Espadon

Xiphias gladius