International treaty aims to tackle illegal, unreported fishing

The implementation of the agreement may prove to be challenging for developing nations and small-island states 

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Tuesday 12 July 2016 | 10:03:41 AM

The Port State Measures agreement “marks the dawn of a new era in the effort to combat illegal fishing”, the Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, said at an event held to mark the first international treaty aimed at tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).

“FAO is working to deliver immediate support to those countries that are most in need of it,” he added.

The implementation of the agreement may prove to be challenging for developing nations and small-island states due to resource and capacity constraints, the DG said.

The treaty went into force last month and more than 30 nations as well the European Union on behalf of its 28 members have acceded to it. More countries have initiated the accession process.

Sustainable oceans

“Generations to come will recognise the importance of this achievement, your achievement,” Graziano da Silva said as he gave awards to representatives of the treaty’s signatories.

“For Africa, fish are as strategic as maize. Overfishing puts sustainable food security at risk,” said President Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea, who has strongly championed the importance of fisheries for African nations.

More than half of all fish exports come from developing countries. It is estimated that globally, IUU fishing accounts for annual catches of up to 26 million tonnes, with a value of up to $ 23 billion.

It not only jeopardises marine ecosystems, but threatens the livelihoods and food securities of millions of fishers around the world, Graziano da Silva added.

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