In 2011, the Scientific Committee endorsed the procedure for training and accreditation presented in SC-CAMLR-XXX/08, and invited Members to participate in a trial of the initial review and technical peer review. These are described in Parts a–c of the proposed procedure for a CCAMLR observer training program accreditation scheme (COTPAS, SC-CAMLR-XXX, paragraphs 7.19 to 7.20, SC-CAMLR-XXX/8). The Commission endorsed the recommendations from the Scientific Committee (CCAMLR-XXX, paragraph 10.2).
The ad-hoc TASO noted that in order to receive high-quality data from the CCAMLR Scheme of International Scientific Observation (SISO), it is important that observers working in CCAMLR fisheries operate to a consistent set of standards. In an effort to achieve this, the Scientific Committee began development of a process to develop a set of minimum standards for observer training programmes. While a trial for the COTPAS scheme was introduced and endorsed by the Scientific Committee, the scheme has not been fully implemented.
In August 2017, New Zealand volunteered to submit its details of its observer training program in accordance with the requirements of SC-CAMLR-XXX/08, Appendix 1 to evaluate the New Zealand observer scheme against the COTPAS criteria. Following this submission, the Secretariat agreed to undertake an initial review following the instructions in SC-CAMLR-XXX/08. The submission of the observer programme against the standards determined by Scientific Committee would allow us to evaluate areas where we may improve and develop data quality and observer safety on New Zealand vessels.
As the review under Part b is now complete, we note that the review will be passed to the Technical Peer Review Group using a closed e-group of Members to undertake Part c of the COTPAS review.