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Port State Measures Now in Force

Sustainability Economics Politics +2 more

GLOBAL - The first ever binding international treaty targeting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing came into force yesterday (Sunday 5 June).

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As the first binding international treaty specifically aimed at preventing illegally - caught fish from entering ports around the world, PSMA is a huge step in the global fight to eliminate illegal fishing.

The more countries that join the Agreement and effectively implement it, the better the chances of keeping illegal products out of global markets.

EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement: "We now have a powerful instrument that will help fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing at European and at global level. This is a significant improvement to international ocean governance. The EU has always played a leading role in the fight against IUU fishing activities and was among the first to approve this major international agreement already in 2011 … We need to make sure that all coastal states … have the means to effectively implement the Port State Measures Agreement. The fight against illegal fishing has become global and perpetrators will soon have nowhere to hide."

Dr Mireille Thom, Marine Policy Specialist at WWF-UK commented: “Illegally caught seafood endangers marine ecosystems and penalises fishermen, governments, retailers and consumers who play by the rules. PSMA is a cost-effective way of using market forces to close ports everywhere to vessels suspected of illegal activities.

“With 60 countries -including the EU Member States - on board and more expected in coming months, we are witnessing a global movement to close all ports to those who indulge in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. By implementing the PSMA, governments are sending a warning that they are not welcome anywhere in their region.

“While many countries have voiced concern about IUU fishing for years, some have done very little to actually show that they mean business. WWF urges them to take action to help their people, support honest businesses, and protect the ocean by enforcing the PSMA and ending illegal fishing.”

The FAO reports that IUU fishing continues to have a devastating impact and the financial value of IUU fishing is estimated at £7-16 billion per year.Therefore, combating IUU fishing is key to improving food security worldwide.

WWF is encouraging more governments to sign up to the Agreement to present a united front against illegal fishing.