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Emergency Action Plan

Find out more on the PIRFO Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Action Plan

  1. “EAP” refers to this Emergency Action Plan;
  2. “Marine Rescue Coordination Center”, means an entity with the available resources to locate persons in distress or an emergency operation to retrieve a person in distress.
  3. “NOP” refers to the National Observer Program”.
  4. “Observer Emergency Situation”, means any situation where the safety of the observer is compromised but are not limited to:
      a)  Attempted Suicide
      b)  Death of observer at sea,
      c)  Depression/ Anxiety (Suspected Mental Disorder),
      d)  Intimidation/ Assault/ Harassment,
      e)  Observer missing out at sea,
      f)  Observer overboard,
      g)  Serious illness and injury,
  1. “Observer Services Provider” means the authorized national observer program under the Western and Central Pacific Commission Regional Observers Program, that usually provides the observer services on fishing vessels fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Area.
  2. “PIRFO” refers to a Pacific Islander Regional Fisheries Observer.
Fisheries Observers have been deployed on fishing vessels out in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Area since the 1970s and their presence became more prominent when the US Treaty was established.

Their role in the management of the tuna fisheries has played an important role in the formulation of sound scientific and compliance information that helps formulate management advice. Observers’ observe, record and report on fishing activities at sea. Fisheries Observers play a critically important role in the fisheries management process, providing fundamental scientific information and serving and indispensable role in monitoring the compliance of Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs), national fisheries laws, and being the eyes and ears for their country and the region. The safety and security of the observers is a high priority for FFA members. To do their job effectively, observers must be able to work in an environment that is free from, harassment, intimidation, assaults and other threats.

The Fisheries Ministers at the FFCMIN13 in Port Vila stressed the importance of expediting work to ensure the safety of observers in the performance of their duties, noting that they perform a fundamental role in collection of data for fisheries management and compliance purposes.

The set protocol in this EAP apply to observer emergency situations at sea, and outlines required responses for Observers, Observer Providers, Vessel Master/Captain, Vessel Operators/Owners, and Coastal States and Flag States. It provides for all emergencies and include different scenarios on fishing vessels. Observer Services Providers, Observers, vessel operators/owners, vessel master/captain and relevant entities will have a checklist covering each emergency and the steps necessary to prepare for and control the emergencies when it arises.