Rome – Global action to fight illegal, unreported & unregulated (IUU) fishing has intensified as 100 States have now committed to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization’s Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA).
The PSMA is the first binding international agreement specifically designed to prevent, deter & eliminate IUU fishing by denying port access & use to foreign vessels engaging in or supporting such fishing.
Angola, Eritrea, Morocco & Nigeria are the latest countries to back the PSMA. Now 60 percent of port States globally, are committed to the agreement, which is a binding international instrument to combat IUU fishing.
“Rising consumer demand & transforming agrifood systems in fisheries & aquaculture have driven global fish production to its highest levels & there is broad recognition of the need to step up the fight against IUU fishing” says QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General. “It is encouraging to see more States support the PSMA in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
One in every five fish caught around the world every year is estimated to originate from IUU fishing, with devastating impacts on the sustainability of fisheries & the livelihoods of those who depend on them, as well as the conservation of marine ecosystems.
IUU fishing undermines national, regional & global efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries & its elimination is key to succeeding in reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“We have a responsibility to manage & use all aquatic resources sustainably,” said Manuel Barange, director of FAO’s Fisheries & Aquaculture Division.
“We need to work together to step up port controls & an adequate information exchange through the implementation of the PSMA. This will contribute to transforming aquatic food systems & maximize their role as drivers of employment, economic growth, social development & environmental sustainability.”
FAO recently launched the PSMA Global Information Exchange System (GIES), which collects & shares official compliance-related information with a focus on port inspection results, actions taken & port entry or denials. With the FAO Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels & Supply Vessels (Global Record), the platform supports States in their efforts to implement the PSMA & complementary instruments which aim to combat IUU fishing.
FAO has so far assisted more than 50 countries to review their legislation, strengthen their institutional capacity, improve their monitoring, control & surveillance systems & operations, to effectively implement port state measures & fulfil their international responsibilities as flag, coastal & market States.
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