The Southern Indian Ocean Deepsea Fishers Association was formed in 2006 by the four companies that were active in the deep-sea high-seas fisheries of the Southern Indian Ocean at the time, and is registered under the Incorporated Societies Act of the Cook Islands. The objectives of the Association included the promotion of responsible management of the deepwater fishery resources of the SIO to ensure sustained harvests to the benefit of mankind while conserving biodiversity, especially deepwater benthos in the area of the fishery and associated and dependent species. In 2015, the first president of SIODFA, Ross Tocker, Sealord Group, ended his term Mr Brian Flanagan, Orafco Ltd, Cape Town was elected the 2nd president of SIODFA in 2016.
The members of SIODFA are:
• Austral Fisheries (Pty) Ltd, Perth, Australia
• Kato Gyogo Ltd, Shigama City, Myagi, Japan
• Orafco Ltd, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands and
• United Frame Investments (Cook Islands) Ltd, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Kanai Fisheries Co. Ltd., Hokkaido, Japan, became full members in 2012. In 2015 Kanai Fisheries Co. Ltd. sold the operations of their vessel, the F.T. Tomi Maru No. 58, to Kato Gyogo Ltd, Shigama City, Myagi, Japan who became full members of SIODFA in February 2016.
All of the Association members' vessels have been fishing in this area since 2000; some started their fishing operations in the area as early as 1996.
Austral Fisheries past association with Pescanova of Spain has been replaced by a new partnership with the Taiyo Fishing Company of Japan. Orafco Ltd’s head office is in Jersey, U.K. and they too have an association with Taiyo Fishing Company of Japan. United Frame Investments is a subsidiary of Sealord Group, New Zealand and have an association with the Nissui Suisan Company of Japan.
SIODFA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to cooperate in investigating, developing and promoting appropriate means of deep-sea resources management, including mitigation of adverse impact of fishing activities on the marine environment and non-targeted species, based on the FAO Code of Conduct for the management of deep-sea fisheries in the high seas; to exchange views and work together for sustainable development of fisheries using e.g., Benthic Protected Areas and an Ecosystem Approach; and to develop and reinforce communication partnerships and links between the marine environment and those involved in these fisheries.
SIODFA is an accredited observer to the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) and has participated in all of its general meetings, meetings of the Scientific Committee, meetings of the Compliance Committee and stock assessment working groups.
SIODFA is administered as follows:
Dr Ross Shotton
The activities of SIODFA are entirely financed by its members.
Represents the interests of deep-sea fishing operators of the southern Indian Ocean by promoting responsible management of the fisheries of the SIO and the conservation of deep-sea biodiversity.