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Current Position:Home » News » Law & Regulation » International Regulations » Topic

First International Treaty against IUU Fishing Take into Force

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2016-06-08  Views: 93
Core Tip: An unprecedented international agreement aimed at cracking down on illegal fishing came into force on 5th June, 2016. It’s now legally binding for 29 countries and a regional organization which signed the agreement.
 An unprecedented international agreement aimed at cracking down on illegal fishing came into force on 5th June, 2016. It’s now legally binding for 29 countries and a regional organization which signed the agreement.

The Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) is the first ever international treaty against illegal fishing, which was formed in 2009 after years long negotiations.

No less than 25 countries involved in the agreement before it could take effect was finally realized in last month.

“This is a great day in the continuing effort to build sustainable fisheries that can help feed the world. We hail those countries that have already signed on to the agreement and who will begin implementing it as of today. We invite governments who have yet to do so, to join the collective push to stamp out illegal fishing and safeguard the future of our ocean resources,” FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva said.

At present, the the parties which signed the agreement of PSMA are: Australia, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the European Union (as a member organization), Gabon, Guinea, Guyana, Iceland, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, the United States of America, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

Strengthen supervision and control to keep off poachers

Parties to PSMA will implement a number of measures to manage ports under their control with the goals to monitor illegal fishing, preventing illegally-caught fish from being landed and sold. And to make sure information on illegal fishing vessels is shared globally.

The parties have the right to request the foreign fishing vessels to submit port entry request, and detailed information on their identities, activities, and the fish aboard.

Ships suspected of being involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing can be directly denied entry into port, or permitted to enter just for inspection without permission to offload fish, refuel, or resupply.

Inspections based on common standards will be carried out for the vessels allowed into ports. They shall provide fishing license issued by the country whose flag they fly and gain permissions from the countries where they operate the fishing. If not, or if inspections turn up evidence of IUU fishing activity, vessels will be denied any further use of ports and reported as violators.

Once a ship is denied access or inspections reveal problems, parties must communicate that information to the country under whose flag the vessel is registered and inform other treaty participants as well as portmasters in neighboring countries.

The first international agreement of its kind

Unauthorized fishing operation, catching protected species, using illegal fishing equipment and ignoring catching quota are the most common activities of IUU fishing.

These activities not only damage the ocean management but also impede sustainable development of oceanic fishery, which would cause huge losses to human beings.

Although many measures are available to strike illegal oceanic fishing, they are difficult to be put into practice because of huge cost, especially in developing countries. It takes considerable technological cost to monitor the large areas of ocean.

Therefore, port state measures are the most efficient and cost-effective way to fight IUU fishing.

The Port State Measures agreement in effect now provides an important tool for the international community to achiev the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which sets a exclusive goal on the protection and sustainable use of oceanic resources, and a specific sub-target with regard to IUU fishing.

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