The FAO Technical Consultation on the Voluntary Guidelines on Transshipment

By Stop Illegal Fishing:22nd Jun, 2022:

The Technical Consultation on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Voluntary Guidelines on Transshipment (the Guidelines) was held from 30 May to 3 June 2022, at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The Guidelines will provide a global framework, allowing flag, coastal and port States and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) to align transhipment regulations and management practices. The consultation provided opportunity for the Guidelines to be reviewed and considered for adoption.

Developing guidelines that can be both relevant and applicable around the globe in different fisheries, applying to a range of vessels, fish species and transhipment scenarios.

The Technical Consultations follows an Expert Consultation, with both processes playing an important part in ensuring that all FAO members can contribute to their development.

For African Sates it is important that the Guidelines reflect their national levels of information on their fisheries and existing levels and focus of monitoring, control and surveillance capacity.

An important proposal was made by Adama Faye of Senegal, who highlighted the fact that ahead of support for developing legislation to reflect the Guidelines, and support for operational implementation, the first step for many countries will be improved monitoring of transhipment activity across the supply chain. Speaking at the event he said, “The main purpose of our intervention is to provide recognition that developing states need to consider all transhipment in their waters through monitoring, before they can then develop suitable legislation to implement the Guidelines appropriately.”

This will build a better understanding of the movement of fish and the associated risks, both from an IUU perspective, but also in relation to potential food and maritime security concerns. The proposed text from Senegal was supported by both the USA and EU, acknowledging the differing knowledge levels on fisheries practices around the globe.

Sandy Davies, representing Stop Illegal Fishing at the Technical Consultation, commented, “A key role of SIF, since its formation in 2007, has been to ensure that international agreements better consider African needs and contexts. In turn this provides greater incentives for African nations to support and implement the agreements and thereby contribute to sustainable and profitable fisheries in Africa.”

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