Each year, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is responsible for annual catches of up to 26 million tonnes with a value of up to $ US 23 billion
Praising the recent entry into force of an international accord on illegal fishing, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General José Graziano da Silva said it required “strong and effective implementation”.
Addressing the Our Ocean Conference in Washington DC, the FAO chief praised the signatories of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA).
“In 2014, only 10 nations had ratified the PSMA,” United States Secretary of State John Kerry said in his address. “All of us then decided that we could do better and we did ... because more than 60 nations have now ratified the PSMA and that is critical.”
On his part, the FAO director general urged all other countries to follow suit in adhering to the treaty. “We need everyone to come onboard, otherwise rogue fishing vessels will continue to find ways to land and introduce their illegal catches into the markets of non-PSMA countries,” he said.
Under the treaty, parties are obliged to implement a number of measures while managing ports under their control, to detect illegal fishing, prevent ill-caught fish from being offloaded and sold and ensure that information on unscrupulous vessels is shared globally.
Each year, Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated is responsible for annual catches of up to 26 million tonnes with a value of up to $ US 23 billion.
The FAO is collaborating with Google to develop new platforms and research methodologies to support countries in improving their monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities.
Graziano da Silva also stressed the need to increase support for small-scale fisheries on which 110 million people, 97 per cent of them in developing countries, depend for their livelihoods.
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