An International Maritime Organization conference in Cape Town this week has adopted a new agreement on fishing vessel safety to be known as the “Cape Town Agreement.”

The conference, attended by 58 States, was held from 9 to 11 October in Cape Town, South Africa, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for maritime safety and security and the prevention of pollution from ships.

IMO Secretary-General Mr. Koji Sekimizu stated that, “In the centenary year of Titanic, we are making history to improve safety of fishing vessels. The Conference was only a short three-day meeting and the final document, the Cape Town Agreement was a brief instrument. But, the IMO has spend five years of intensive discussions and preparation for this Conference and the Agreement carries heavy weight of expectation for bringing safety regulations in force accumulated over 35 years since the adoption of the Torremolinos Convention which did not entered into force. The Agreement reflects our renewed commitment and Good Hope that the Provisions of the1993 Toremolinos Protocol will come into force, this time, in very near future. I encourage all IMO member states and those which has a large number of fishing vessels, in particular, to ratify the Agreement without delay.”

In ratifying the agreement, Parties agree to amendments to the provisions of the 1993 Protocol, so that they can come into force as soon as possible thereafter.

The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 will enter into force 12 months after 22 member nations consent to be bound by it.

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