In the first half of March, during the European Union High-level Ministerial Maritime Conference in Opatija (Croatia), another three countries, including Poland, signed the "Torremolinos Declaration", under which States publicly indicate their determination to ratify the Cape Town Agreement from 2012 by the 10th anniversary of its adoption, i.e. until October 11, 2022.
The Torremolinos Declaration was opened for signature at IMO's October 2019 conference in Torremolinos (Spain), and until now, besides Poland, it has been signed by countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain and China.
The Cape Town Agreement outlines regulations designed to mandatory safety measures for crews of fishing vessels over 24 metres in length and ensures a level playing field for the fishing industry while establishing standards for fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and over. It covers key parameters such as stability and associated seaworthiness, construction of fishing vessels, machinery and electrical installations, life-saving devices and communication equipment. It also aims to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Although the Agreement was adopted in 2012, it will enter into force 12 months after at least 22 States, with an aggregate 3600 fishing vessels of 24 meters in length and over operating on the high seas have expressed their consent to be bound by it.
Presently, 14 countries have ratified the Cape Town Agreement, including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.