Support for anti-illegal fishing pact sought
The Food and Agriculture Organization Wednesday urged governments to implement a landmark treaty against illegal fishing, saying rapid action was needed to ensure that its implementation was effective.
FAO director general José Graziano da Silva described the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing—which went into force last June 5—as “the first-ever binding international accord that focuses specifically on illicit fishing.”
First adopted as an FAO agreement in 2009 “after a years-long diplomatic effort,” the treaty is now adopted for implementation in at least 30 countries including Burma (Myanmar) and South Korea.
The Philippines, despite the previous administration’s strong stance against illegal fishing, is not among those that have so far acceded to the treaty.
According to the FAO, the treaty requires foreign vessels to submit to inspections at any port of call and for port states to share information on violations.
The new agreement is designed to raise the cost of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, as it blocks improperly caught fish from being brought to land and entering markets.
Graziano da Silva said the agreement had an article that explicitly enjoined parties to the treaty and international organizations to provide assistance and funding.
He said South Korea had confirmed it would make a financial contribution, and other parties were expected to follow suit.
He said the FAO had set up an inter-regional technical cooperation program and a Global Capacity Development Umbrella Programme to support logistical, legislative and legal aspects of translating the agreement into practice.
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