Stop Illegal Fishing makes Our Ocean 2018 commitment to support the implementation of port state measures in Africa

By Stop Illegal Fishing:14th Nov, 2018: Port State Measures Agreement

At the Our Ocean Conference 2018, held in Indonesia, Stop Illegal Fishing announced their commitment to support the implementation of port state measures in Africa.

African ports are particularly critical to the global implementation of port State measures and Stop Illegal Fishing will focus support on building expertise to identify, inspect and investigate vessels that have been operating illegally.

By working closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Capacity Development Programme for the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), Stop Illegal Fishing will implement a capacity building project over a period of four years starting in 2018, with USD1.5 million finance from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Our work will provide support in ten African ports, and, by developing practical tools and supporting information exchange mechanisms between port, coastal and flag States, our aim is to maximise the opportunity offered by this first international agreement aimed at ending illegal fishing and to learn from and share these experiences internationally.

The Project will support the development of legal frameworks for robust implementation of Port State Measures (PSMs); the development of national interagency cooperation and global information sharing; building human and institutional capacity to support effective PSMs; creating awareness; and providing tools and mechanisms to operationalise the PSMs in selected African countries.

Elsa Patria, Chair of Stop Illegal Fishing said, “I am personally delighted that Stop Illegal Fishing is able to work to support the implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement. My experience conducting port inspections in Mozambique demonstrated the importance of having knowledgeable and well-trained inspectors; these are the people who have the difficult job of analysing an array of information in a short space of time to see whether records and documents support the claims of the vessel captain. The PSMA not only requires that vessels have to provide advance notice for port entry, giving officials a greater opportunity to identify high-risk vessels, but it also helps build stronger collaboration between national agencies, which in turn will lead to improved targeting of resources and more effective inspections and investigations when illegal fishing is suspected.”

Stop Illegal Fishing Coordinator, Per Erik Bergh said: “Having strong procedures and controls in place in ports is one of the best ways that we can act against illegal fishers. Illegal fishing is causing significant damage to the environment, economies and sustainability of African countries. Stopping illegal fishing will help to create compliance in the maritime sector and underpin much needed blue growth.”

Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing, stated: “We look forward to working closely to identify where support is most needed and help to develop the tools, skills and procedures for effective port State measures.”

The Stop Illegal Fishing Commitment

‘Stop Illegal Fishing commits to support the implementation of port state measures in Africa. By working closely with the FAO Global Capacity Development Programme for the Port State Measures Agreement, Stop Illegal Fishing will implement a capacity building project over a period of four years starting in 2018, with USD 1.5 million finance from the German government. African ports are particularly critical to the global implementation of port State measures and Stop Illegal Fishing will focus support on building expertise to identify, inspect and investigate vessels that have been operating illegally. Our work will provide support in ten African ports and, by developing practical tools and supporting information exchange mechanisms between port, coastal and flag States, our aim is to maximise the opportunity offered by this first international agreement aimed at ending illegal fishing and to learn from and share these experiences internationally.’

 

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One in four fish in Africa is caught illegally, this threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, damages the ecosystem and deprives governments of income and people of livelihoods.

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Creating change by informing policy and practice, our hands on experience and investigative work means we are often the first to spot new trends and find ways to challenge these.

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Our Initiatives

Illegal fishing is a complex issue that requires multifaceted responses. Stop Illegal Fishing are working with a range of organisations to bring about change.

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