The recent entry into force of a ground-breaking international accord on illegal fishing is a welcome development but it now requires "strong and effective implementation", says Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet.
In his speech at the Our Ocean Conference in the United States capital, Graziano da Silva lauded the signatories of the FAO-brokered Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA).
Also, da Silva provided United States Secretary of State John Kerry with an update on the status of the treaty, which came into force in June.
"In 2014 only 10 nations had ratified the PSMA," Kerry noted in his conference address. "All of us then decided that we could do better and we did ... because more than 60 nations have now ratified the PSMA and that is critical," he said, urging all other countries to follow suit in adhering to the treaty.
"We need everyone to come onboard, otherwise rogue fishing vessels will continue to find ways to land and introduce their illegal catches into the markets of non-PSMA countries," da Silva said.
He likened adherence to the treaty to the international community's commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), "a situation in which no one can be left behind."
NaijaAgroNet recalls that under the treaty, parties are obliged to implement a number of measures while managing ports under their control, to detect illegal fishing, preventing ill-caught fish from being offloaded and sold, and ensuring that information on unscrupulous vessels is shared globally.
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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva