Palau amongst the first nations to ratify the FAO Port State Measures Agreement

Palau amongst the first nations to ratify the FAO Port State Measures Agreement

  15 Jul 2016

“This agreement gives us the tools we so desperately need to fight the trade of illegally caught – pirated – fish.”. Minister Sengebau

Rome—On July 11th 2016, For small islands like Palau, we have come to realize that the rich Pacific-ocean fish stocks that sustain our people are under threat from climate change and pollution and overfishing – including vast illegal, pirate fishing – the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing that is estimated to cost the Pacific tuna fishery between US$ 500 and 750 million dollars every year. [restrict]

Palau, along with other Pacific island brothers, realizing that the level of fish stocks are declining joined the Global fight against IUU.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gathered world leaders to discuss measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. With it having detrimental impacts to the social, political and economical status of the world, nations are emerging together to implement port control to mitigate unmonitored illegal activities causing damages to the marine wildlife and extracting public resources from ports. 2016 has been a significant year for countries that are partnered in this agreement on fighting against IUU fishing.

“For Palau, we are very grateful to have strong partners in our monitoring and enforcement efforts including the US and Australian coast guards and the Nippon Foundation, but for a small nation to mount efforts to pursue illegal fishing boats over such a huge expanse of open ocean is a huge, and sometimes impossible, challenge.  We are trying hard with the help of our international partners; we have had some notable successes catching pirate vessels in our waters. But it is a drop in the bucket — every year Palau faces between 50 and 100 incursions by pirate vessels spread across a vast expanse of ocean.”  H.E. Minister Sengebau

That is why the Port State Measures Agreement is so critical for Palau. Port-State inspections and other measures are by far the most cost efficient and effective measures to fight IUU fishing.

Robust enforcement of the PSMA around the world can bring the level of international cooperation the world so desperately needs to police not just individual pirate ships, but the whole, global fishing industry.

“Thanks to this agreement, port authorities can request to search the ships, certifications must be produce to identify the origin of the fish,” Remarks by H.E Fuad bin Ja’afar bin Mohammed Al-Sajwani, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of Oman, “we hope this initiative will be a further step in fighting IUU fishing, we hope this initiative will also be an international measure to monitor the status of the fishing across the world, we hope that all steps of the supply chain will be monitor further.”

Understanding that the victory today will not immediately eliminate IUU fishing, FAO urges all countries to join this initiative as soon as possible. The UN organization will make the necessary efforts to assist both developing and developed countries in their implementation process to create positive impacts on the economy of the world. The objective is to increase food security in coastal communities and reduce pressures on the ecosystem. “A hand-full of agreements are not enough, we need to close the loop holes for trading of illegal products and we need effective control of the fish, unfortunately, IUU fishing is still a lucrative business today, we need to work together to bring an end to illegal fishing from entering our markets.” A global web of Port State inspections and other measures to choke off market access for illegal fish.

“If we wish to prevent IUU, there can be no weak points among the world ports,” said by H.E. David A. Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries of the United States of America, “By carrying out the agreement, we must share information and provide resources to build capacity, USA will continue to work with organizations such as the FAO and other countries to end IUU fishing. ” [/restrict]

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