Aquaculture for all

Call for Funds to Fight Illegal Fishing

GLOBAL - The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called on donor countries for US$1 million to support a project designed to help developing countries deny port access to boats involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

"In the developing world, fishing plays a crucial role in reinforcing household food security, improving nutrition, and providing income," said FAO Assistant-Director General for Fisheries, Ichiro Nomura, said at a briefing session with donor countries.

"In light of rising world food prices and growing concern over the wellbeing of some wild fish stocks, we can afford less than ever to allow IUU fishing to impact these communities."

The funds would be used to finance an ongoing FAO project launched in 2005 when the UN agency developed a Model Scheme for stronger "port state measures" that could be adopted by countries in order to combat IUU fishing.

Port State measures include activities such as undertaking inspections of documentation, catches and equipment when boats land to take on fuel and supplies or offload fish or requiring vessels to make activity reports before entering port.

Vessels found to be involved in IUU fishing can be denied docking rights, causing considerable financial losses to their owners. Such measures are among the most-effective means of preventing the import, transhipment or laundering of illegally caught fish.

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