Mozambique moves to strengthen port controls to stop illegal fishing

By Stop Illegal Fishing:18th Mar, 2021: Port State Measures Agreement · Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing

Through the strengthening of port State measures and port controls Mozambique is stepping up its fight against illegal fishing.

Mozambique has agreed a two-year work plan with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for technical assistance to be provided to Mozambique to strengthen their implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) and complementary international instruments.

Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, endorsing the plan, said, “We greatly welcome FAO’s technical assistance to Mozambique, which will support in building its capacity as an effective port State, with a view to a more effective fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing”.

Participating in the virtual launch event Dr Matthew Camilleri, Leader of the FAO Fisheries Global and Regional Processes Team, referred to Mozambique as a strategic country for FAO to fight IUU fishing due to its geopolitical position as well as the country’s full engagement with global and regional processes concerning fisheries management. He said, “The Work Plan will allow more concrete actions to be taken to close Mozambican ports to IUU fishing”.

The Work Plan is anchored in the Strategy and Action Plan for the Implementation of the PSMA and Complementary International Instruments and Regional Mechanisms to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing in Mozambique. It was elaborated with the support of FAO, though the Swedish project on support for the implementation of the PSMA and related instruments to combat IUU fishing (GCP/INT/313/SWE). Stop Illegal Fishing provided support to the process through the Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing (PSM-SIF) project, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing stated, “Stop Illegal Fishing welcomes this initiative and the opportunity for us to continue to collaborate with the FAO in supporting Mozambique to keep illegally caught fish out of their ports and markets. Mozambican ports are strategically positioned, linking the Indian and Southern Oceans, signifying that applying strong port State measures to the transient foreign fishing vessels visiting these ports, is likely to have far reaching positive impacts to fight IUU fishing.”

Maputo hosts the fledgling Southern African Development Community (SADC) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC).  Elsa Patria, Chairperson Stop Illegal Fishing commented, “The establishment of a SADC wide centre creates an excellent opportunity for the regional fight against IUU fishing. By working closely with the SADC MCSCC, we can ensure that the lessons learnt from Mozambique’s work implementing port State measures are shared with neighbouring countries. This will strengthen our regional response and build our regional capacity to stop illegal fishing.”

Read the FAO article Mozambique strengthens its commitment to combat IUU fishing here: http://www.fao.org/port-state-measures/news-events/detail/en/c/1381109/.

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