Baku, May 16, AZERTAC
The world’s first-ever international agreement specifically targeting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is set to enter into force next month, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported, highlighting the accord’s importance in efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries and responsible fish stock management globally, according to UN News Centre.
Collectively, the 29 countries and the European Union – which signed as a single party – that have formally committed themselves through their instruments of adhesion to the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) account for more than 62 per cent of worldwide fish imports and 49 per cent of fish exports, which were $133 billion and $139 billion, respectively, in 2013, FAO said in a press release.
“This is the dawn of a new era in the effort to combat illegal fishing. By denying unscrupulous fishers safe haven and access to markets, the PSMA will drive the seafood industry towards greater sustainability and have significant ripple effects throughout the entire fisheries supply chain,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.
“Let no port State be known and targeted by [illegal, unregulated and unreported] IUU fishing operators as a shelter for non-compliance,” he added, urging more countries to ratify the treaty.
Now that the required threshold has been reached, with 30 members having formally deposited their instruments of adherence, the agreement is set to enter into force on 5 June.
Each year, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is responsible for annual catches of up to 26 million tons, with a value of up to $23 billion, FAO said.