The IMO/FAO Guidance on managing seafood safety during and after oil spills provides a very useful guide to identify the various problems that will affect fisheries and aquaculture enterprises in the event of an oil spill. This document will be useful to spill responders and managers with responsibilities for protecting public health and those in the fisheries sector as well as consumers concerned about the safety and quality of seafood.
At its forty-first session, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) tasked the OPRC Working Group to develop a guidance document for fisheries management during and after an oil spill incident. Dr. Tosh Moller, Technical Team Manager of the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. (ITOPF), prepared the draft guidance document and submitted it at MEPC 42. Following the review and comments from members of the OPRC Working Group and the Fisheries Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a consolidated draft version was submitted by ITOPF at MEPC 43. Further review on the guidance document was made by Australia and the United States and subsequently by FAO, which also agreed to a joint IMO/FAO publication. At MEPC 45, the revised guidance document was approved by the OPRC Working Group for a joint IMO/FAO publication. The Committee, at its forty-sixth session, approved the final draft guidance document reviewed by the OPRC Working Group for publication.
- International Maritime Organization