Mozambique develops action plan to implement Port State Measures

By Stop Illegal Fishing:28th Jun, 2019: Initiatives · Supporting PSMA implementation

As the third African State to ratify the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) in 2014, Mozambique is now moving ahead with key steps in efforts to implement the agreement, and close their ports to illegally caught fish.

 

By updating and validating the National Strategy and Action Plan for compliance with the PSMA Mozambique has, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Stop Illegal Fishing, identified critical actions in developing the required legal, policy, and institutional and organisational frameworks.

 

The update meeting, held in Maputo on June 17th to 21st, brought together representatives from the key national agencies involved in PSMA implementation, including the Police, Navy, Customs and Port Authorities, as well as lead fisheries enforcement officers from Beira, Maputo and Nacala. Leonid Santana Chimarizene, Diector of Fisheries noting the systematic nature of illegal fishing, and the harmful effects of this to the environment and the economy. He stated, “Tackling illegal fishing requires easy interaction with all the relevant institutions and agencies. This process to develop an action plan and strategy will clarify which institutions need to be involved when foreign flagged vessels request entry to port. This will enable us to make informed decisions and if necessary deny entry to our ports.”

 

Luca Garibaldi, FAO Secretary of the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) opened the meeting. The recently agreed SWIOFC Minimum terms and Conditions for access to fisheries have fully incorporated the PSMA requirements and guidelines, specifying that all foreign fishing vessels should comply with all applicable PSMA articles, including Advance Request for Entry into Port notices. Mr Garibaldi noted, “By progressing on PSMA implementation Mozambique can serve as a model for other countries in the region.”

 

Kristin von Kistowski, Consultant FAO, described the PSMA as a milestone in the global effort to stop illegal fishing. The aim of the PSMA is to make it impossible for vessels involved in IUU fishing to land their catch or use ports, thus attacking the economics of the IUU business and reducing the incentive to operate illegally. She commented, “PSMA doesn’t work without access to the relevant information at both the national and regional level. There is a need to communicate to allow risk assessment at ports where entry is requested. The aim is to share information electronically. If there are clear grounds that a vessel has engaged in IUU then access is denied. But there are advantages of granting entry for inspection, and this can give valuable information for future risk assessment.”

 

An overview of the support that Stop illegal Fishing is able to offer Mozambique, through funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and support from the German Development Agency (GIZ), was provided by Sandy Davies. She said, “Stop Illegal Fishing is delighted to be able to work with the authorities in Mozambique to support the implementation of the PSMA. It is a challenging process to get the buy in and support from a range of stakeholders, but we see clear benefits to Mozambique’s fisheries and economy from keeping illegally caught fish from being landed.”

 

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