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Applying an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management: focus on seamounts of the southern Indian Ocean
Commissioning Unit: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Evaluation Plan: 2009-2013
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2013
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
1. Recommendation:

- a need to apply innovative management tools and methodology to monitor deep seas ecosystems, a robust mechanism that would assess the health of the ecosystem  and enable to react to activities affecting the marine environment by immediate management/conservation measures which could be taken on a participative process. This adaptive and evolving mechanism which would include multilayer rapid ecological assessments, threat indicators, management indexes, would serve as backbone to an effective marine spatial management and planning of the ABNJs.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24] [Last Updated: 2018/10/24]

Monotoring deep-sea ecosystems is beyond the scope of this project. Nevertheless, a participative process is an interesting way to pursue for future high seas governance IW projects. This goes with a big financial need in order to be able to put in place a structure able to coordinate this monitoring activity.

SIODFA, the only association of deep-sea fishers of the area (high seas areas of the Southern Indian Ocean), have been partners of the project and have collaborated with IUCN for many years on the promotion of their management/conservation measure consisting in a voluntary closure -for SIODFA members- of their declared Benthic Protected Areas (BPAs). This is considered as an innovative management tool.

We agree that such tools and initiatives should be encouraged and further developped.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation:

- a present possibility to set up site specific management plans with the existing data on the project area of seamounts, in particular with SIODFA data and preliminary results of the 2 project cruises. It would reestablish a good collaboration with SIODFA, and the fishing Industry, and trigger the next phases which could be integrated in an overall scheme of establishing governance at the regional and global level.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

This recommendation is not relevant as we do not see any present possibility (as of 30 September 2013). SIOFA, the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement, entered into force on 21 June 2012. No secretariat or functioning mechanism is yet well established (as of 30 September 2013). The 3rd PSC meeting agreed that the development of site specific management plans could not been achieved within the framework of this project regarding the existing governance framework. This recommendation should be taken into consideration for the development of future high seas governance projets in the Southern Indian Ocean, once SIOFA is truly enforced.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation:

-a need to achieve a comprehensive desk review of all available information on the SIO area, in particular a comprehensive analysis of the different activities occurring in high seas with a focus on fisheries in deep sea, which most countries are familiar with in respect to the characteristics of their coasts, proximate deep water and the use of offshore devices e.g., Fishing Aggregative Devices (FADs). And an analysis of publications of results of international oceanographic cruises in the SIO area in particular on the well explored SW Indian Ridge where are located the seamounts, including the numerous geophysical and multidisciplinary cruises. The scales of data collecting for imagery/mapping of the seabed are relevant to assess large areas for setting up reference areas for MPAs, including representative faunal assemblages and habitats.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

This has, at least partially, been done during the project. The project publication ‘’Overview of seamount ecosystem and biodiversity’’ [ISBN: 978-2-8317-1561-2] includes a review of available data from scientific cruises and research work on the area and on seamounts in general. This project conducted some of the first assessments of these seamount ecosystems and the amount of data and information gathered through the two cruises (benthic fauna and pelagic realm) is unique.

An review of the major anthropogenic threats (fisheries and non-fisheries such as pollution, mining, etc.) to seamount ecosystems has also been achieved within this project framework.  [ISBN: 978-2-8317-1563-6] 

This recommendation is important for future ABNJ/high seas governance project. They will have to consider the results of this very project in their analysis of scientific publications, as the project created a vital environment status baseline from which to monitor future trends and impacts.

We agree that a comprehensive analysis of the deep-sea fisheries is important for future ABNJ projects but we want to highlight the fact that there is very few fishing companies that have the ability and the technical and financial means to go and fish in those areas (seamounts of the South West Indian Ridge).

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

- a need to achieve a comprehensive analysis of legal and institutional instruments and stakeholders in the region and assess their relevance to the project. It should be done in a participative mode with all stakeholders during one or a series of workshops with representatives of all governments and existing entities in the region. Would follow a list of options on how integrating the management of high seas issues into the existing framework in the region and globally, analyzing the complementarities between instruments for the purpose of the project and proposing one or more options for reaching the objectives, then selecting the recommended one(s).  A follow up of territorial boundaries of the countries in the vicinity of the SIO project area and of the other activities than fisheries (mining, gas, petrol, traffic, pollution..) which could affect the SIO area.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

We don’t understand very well this recommendation as this has been done within the framework of the project. A publication has been developed and is entitled ‘’Legal and Institutional Gap Analysis’’ [ISBN: 978-2-8317-1483-7]. This document served as a background document for the governance workshop that took place in the region and was organised with the stakeholders of the region. During the workshop, a list of options to improve the governance framework of ABNJ of the Southern Indian Ocean has been collectively drafted and was inserted in the final version of the document. Within the framework, timeframe and resources available for this project, it has not been possible to have a more comprehensive analysis. We can envisioned that for future IW high seas projects, this analysis should be further investigated.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation:

-to focus on Marine spatial planning and management (MSM) and train all stakeholders (including Flagships of industrial fishing in high seas) and country representatives of the region in a participative approach on a multilayer management characteristic of MSM with a series of workshops in the region and pilot sites which could be in banks, deep sea areas in territorial waters of the region or in existing Marine Protected Areas networks including high seas of the region (e.g., Chagos, Saya de Malha Banks..). Experience from other networks could be stressed as with OSPAR, CCAMLR)

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]


Key Actions:

6. Recommendation:

-a need to develop more material for learning, awareness and public communication for the region, in particular in the 2 official languages (English, French) and if possible in Portuguese.

Management Response: [Added: 2018/10/24]

We agree that the development of material for the purpose of learning and awareness raising is essential.

Some limited efforts have been made during the project to have some communication in French (blog of the first cruise has been translated into French, visit of the ship for a French school in La Réunion, interview for Swiss/French television, etc.).

We agree that a particular effort towards the use of other official languages than English for communication material is wished for future ABNJ/ high seas governance projects.

Brochures, posters and short videos may be good means to raise public awareness in the region and globally. The use of social medias is also something that should be encouraged.

Key Actions:

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