WWF-UK have welcomed an international treaty designed to tackle illegal fishing, which was unveiled last weekend. The Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) will make it much harder for boats carrying illegally-caught fish to enter ports all around the globe. The PSMA will become more effective in the fight against illegal fishing as more countries join and implement it.
Dr Mireille Thom, Marine Policy Specialist at WWF-UK said: “Illegally caught seafood endangers marine ecosystems and penalises fishermen, governments, retailers and consumers who play by the rules. PSMA is a cost-effective way of using market forces to close ports everywhere to vessels suspected of illegal activities.
“With 60 countries -including the EU Member States – on board and more expected in coming months, we are witnessing a global movement to close all ports to those who indulge in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. By implementing the PSMA, governments are sending a warning that they are not welcome anywhere in their region.
“While many countries have voiced concern about IUU fishing for years, some have done very little to actually show that they mean business. WWF urges them to take action to help their people, support honest businesses, and protect the ocean by enforcing the PSMA and ending illegal fishing.”
The FAO reports that IUU fishing continues to have a devastating impact and the financial value of IUU fishing is estimated at £7-16 billion per year. Therefore, combating IUU fishing is key to improving food security worldwide.
WWF is encouraging more governments to sign up to the Agreement to present a united front against illegal fishing.