The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 on the Implementation of the Provisions of the Torremolinos Protocol of 1993 relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, 1977 (the Agreement) was adopted by the International Conference on the Safety of Fishing Vessels, held from 9 to 11 October 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as the result of a strenuous work and intensive discussions over a five-year period.
The safety of fishers and fishing vessels forms an integral part of IMO’s mandate, however, the fishing industry, from a global perspective, does not have an acceptable safety record; and, while there may be a number of factors that have contributed to this, there can be no doubt that the lack of an effective internationally binding regulatory regime has played a significant part in the status quo. In this context, neither the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, adopted in 1977, nor the Torremolinos Protocol, adopted in 1993, entered into force due to a variety of technical and legal constraints. The Agreement was a renewed commitment for the provisions of the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol to come into force and is expected to play an important part in improving safety standards and reducing the loss of life in the fisheries sector.
The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 will enter into force 12 months after the date on which not less than 22 States, the aggregate number of whose fishing vessels of 24 m in length and over operating on the high seas is not less than 3,600, have expressed their consent to be bound by it.