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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Four African countries back agreement against illegal, unregulated fishing

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Angola, Eritrea, Morocco and Nigeria last week signed the Food and Agricultural Organziation’s (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), taking the number of signatories to this global alignment against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to 100 countries.

PSMA is the first internationally binding instrument specifically designed to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by denying port access to foreign vessels that engage in or support such practices. The PSMA entered into force in June 2016.

One in every five fish caught around the world every year is thought to originate from IUU fishing. IUU fishing is responsible for the loss of 11-26 million tonnes of fish each year, which is estimated to have an economic value of $10 billion-$23 billion.

The world was supposed to effectively regulate and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices by 2020, according to the United Nations-mandated sustainable development goals (SDG).

It was expected to implement science-based management plans to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield.

This indicator is set to be achieved by 2020, unlike most SDG targets with a target year of 2030. But the world has failed to achieve the target of eliminating IUU fishing by 2020.

So, implementing the PSMA is one of the most cost-effective means to curb IUU fishing, noted the FAO. Four African countries — Angola, Eritrea, Morocco and Nigeria are the latest countries to back the agreement. 

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