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RFMO-5 Give Green Light To Global Vessel ID System To Combat IUU

The Unique Vessel Identifiers (UVI) system for tuna fishing vessels and the harmonization of tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organizations vessel lists project has received thumbs up yesterday at the RFMO-5 Summit in San Sebastian, Spain. This decision was expected.The UVI system consists of a common database of the global tuna vessel fleet’s information, by which vessels are identified by a unique number. The system can be compared to the license plate system for cars – which is used to check if drivers are insured or have paid their road tax. In this case the system will show if the vessels involved has a proper flag registration and information about its owner and tonnage

All the five RFMOs – IATTC, ICCAT, WCPFC, CCBST and IOTC – already have their own tuna vessel records, however, a common shared UVI system is regarded as practical and helpful measure towards combating IUU fishing world-wide.

Even though the final resolution is yet to be released, the proposed process of implementation states that the RFMO-5 flag State members will have to provide all the additional information required by Lloyd’s Register (LR-F), the organization responsible for managing the UVI system.

A few of the required information not yet collected by all the tuna RFMOs are:
  • Parent company of registered ship owner;
  • Vessel communication types and numbers;
  • Net tonnage;
  • Shipbuilder and its nationality;
  • Ship Manager;
  • Parallel-in ships true ownership registration details;
  • Parallel-out ships true owner details.
“The development of a UVI by the t-RFMOs will facilitate the exchange of vessel information among the t-RFMOs, support broader MCS efforts within and between each t-RFMOs (in respect of catch documentation, transshipment verification, port State measures, VMS operations, etc.) and make a positive contribution to related efforts within the FAO towards this goal”, concluded the proposal.