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All 17 Ocean Panel countries commit to international agreement to tackle illegal fishing

The Port State Measures Agreement prevents vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches.

Mar 7, 2023

The Government of Mexico has ratified the Port State Measures Agreement, a critical tool in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Jamaica also announced that they will accede to the agreement in the coming months. These developments will mean every member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (Ocean Panel) will commit to the first legally binding international agreement to tackle IUU fishing.

The Port State Measures Agreement prevents vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches. It therefore helps to disincentivise illegal activity and blocks fishery products derived from IUU fishing from reaching national and international markets.

Unsustainable fishing activity is one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems as it undermines national efforts to protect marine biodiversity. It threatens the ocean’s ability to regenerate and sustainably provide for those who rely on it most for nutrition and their livelihoods. It can even lead to the collapse of legitimate fisheries, with small-scale fisheries in developing countries especially vulnerable. Implementing this Agreement is recognised as a priority action in the Ocean Panel’s ocean action agenda, Transformations, to ensure food from the ocean is harvested sustainably and equitably.

Leslie Campbell from Jamaica’s State Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade noted that Jamaica has a particular interest in tackling IUU fishing, including collective action within the Ocean Panel. He indicated that an official port will be designated with the necessary capacity development for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance activities.

Martha Delgado, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:
“The Mexican Senate approved the Agreement on Port State Measures aimed at preventing, deterring, and eliminating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. In this way, the Government of Mexico reaffirms its commitment to the sustainable management of our living marine resources and the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, prioritizing the well-being of the coastal fishing communities so as not to leave anyone behind”

Read more about the Port State Measures Agreement

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