The Southern Indian Ocean Deepsea Fishers Association was formed by four companies active in the deep-sea high seas fisheries of the Southern Indian Ocean in 2006 where they have been since 2000. The Association was formed to promote responsible management of the deepwater fishery resources of the SIO to ensure sustained harvests to the benefit of mankind and to ensure conservation of biodiversity, especially deepwater benthos, in the area of the fishery.
The Association’s vessels operate far from land in sea depths from 500 to 1200m. In almost all cases, fishing operations are undertaken exclusively by benthopelagic trawling. This requires highly targeted fishing using complex acoustic equipment. The gear is only set when fish are located in an area where fishing operations are possible. As such, fishing is associated with bottom features such as ridges, knolls and seamounts. Fishing may be ‘mid-water’, in which cases the trawl usually does not contact the sea floor. When ‘bottom’ fishing is undertaken, contact with the sea floor may continue from a few minutes up to 20 minutes. Most areas of sea features cannot be fished because of their rough topography: on some features there may be only one place fishing is possible.
Learn more about the species SIODFA members target below: