The requirements for notifying encounters, and potential encounters with vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) are described in Conservation Measures (CM). Notifications are made under CM 22-07 in the case of encounters with potential VMEs during the course of bottom fishing, and under CM 22-06 in other cases such as during research surveys. Notifications are held in the Secretariat’s VME registry.
Since 2008, the Secretariat has received a total of 32 notifications of encounters with VMEs arising from research surveys (CM 22-06): 17 notifications in Subarea 48.1; 13 notifications in Subarea 48.2; and 2 notifications in Division 58.4.1. No notification has been submitted to the Secretariat so far in 2010/11; however a notification for two VMEs in the Ross Sea has been submitted to WG-EMM for consideration (WG-EMM-11/10).
Since 2008, the Secretariat has also received a total of 112 VME-indicator notifications from exploratory bottom fisheries (CM 22-07): 29 in 2008/09; 24 in 2009/10; and 59 so far in 2010/11. These notifications originated from vessels operating in the exploratory crab fishery in Subarea 48.2 (1 notification), and exploratory longline fisheries in Subareas 48.6 (2 notifications), 88.1 (90 notifications) and 88.2 (19 notifications). No notification has been made from exploratory fisheries in Divisions 58.4.1, 58.4.2, 58.4.3a and 58.4.3b.
The VME-indicator notifications has led to the declaration of 42 VME risk areas in Subarea 88.1 and 4 risk areas in Subarea 88.2. In addition, 5 VME fine-scale rectangles were identified in Subarea 88.1 and 1 VME fine-scale rectangle was identified in Subarea 88.2