Southern Indian Ocean Fishing Zones
Austral Fisheries have been operating in the high seas since 1994 with the original Austral Leader fishing at Louisville Ridge and the Tasman Rise off Australia’s south-east coast. The Southern Champion started fishing the high seas in 1999. Previously, Austral Fisheries has also operated the Congasa on the South West Indian Ocean Ridge (SWIOR). Currently, the Atlas Cove is the only vessel that will operate for Austral Fisheries in the high seas, mainly on the SWIOR and the Ninety East Ridge.
The Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) is aimed at ensuring the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources (excluding tuna) that fall outside national jurisdictions. SIOFA has 11 signatories and parties to the agreement and is soon due to be ratified. This will be a major step forward as this Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) covers areas of the high seas where no such organisation or arrangement previously existed.
For more information on the SIOFA fishing zone, please visit the Southern Indian Ocean Deepsea Fishers Association (SIODFA) website at www.siodfa.org