Posted on 17 September 2014
WWF welcomes the ratification of the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) by the Government of Mozambique, a huge step in the global fight to eliminate illegally fishing. Illegal fishing not only contributes to overfishing but is responsible for $10-$23.5 billion stolen from the global economy each year and $35 million a year in Mozambique.
WWF welcomes the ratification of the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) by the Government of Mozambique, which is a huge step in the global fight to eliminate illegal fishing. Illegal fishing not only contributes to overfishing but is responsible for $10-$23.5 billion stolen from the global economy each year and $35 million a year in Mozambique.
"We applaud this strong action by the Government of Mozambique”, said Anabela Rodrigues, WWF Mozambique Country Director. “By ratifying this important treaty, the Government is showing real national and international leadership in the fight against illegal fishing practices that threaten the resources and fishing communities of our region.”
African countries are among the most targeted by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (“IUU“) fishing, due to insufficient fisheries monitoring and governance in the region. Mozambique is only the third African state—and the 11th state worldwide—to ratify the PSMA. This ratification means that Mozambique will be better able to close its ports to illegal operators and shut down its markets to illegally caught fish.
“We hope that other countries will urgently follow the example of Mozambique and ratify this much needed global agreement,” said Ms. Rodrigues. “Ratifying and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement is one of the most important actions governments can take in the fight against IUU fishing.”
IUU fishing in Mozambique includes fishing without a license, unauthorized transhipments, failing to report catches or making false reports, keeping undersized fish or fish that are otherwise protected, fishing in closed areas or during closed seasons, or using prohibited fishing gear that damages ecosystems. These practices endanger community livelihoods, as two-thirds of Mozambique’s population lives along the coast and depends on fish as a key source of daily protein and employment. The Port State Measures agreement is a cost-effective way to ensure national and international action to prohibit vessels that are suspected of illegal activity from landing at ports or receiving port services.
The Port State Measures Agreement was brokered among 92 nations by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and was opened for signature on November 23, 2009. Eleven countries have already ratified the agreement, namely: Chile, European Union, Gabon, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Mozambique. The agreement will take effect once 25 parties have signed on. Once enforced this agreement will help close ports to vessels suspected of illegal fishing and block illegally caught fish from entering the global marketplace.