Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization approved a new treaty that would shut down ports to illegal fishing vessels. When it enters into effect, it will be the first treaty to commit governments to prevent and eliminate "illegal, unreported and unregulated" ("IUU") fishing by closing ports to ships engaged in illegal fishing practices. This will preventing their catch from entering international markets and hopefully end illegal fishing practices.
The treaty was signed by 11 members of the Food and Agricultural Organization: Angola, Brazil, Chile, the European Commission, Indonesia, Iceland, Norway, Samoa, Sierra Leone, the United States, and Uruguay. The formal name of the treaty is the “Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing” will enter into force after 25 countries have ratified it. The most common illegal fishing activities are operating without proper authorization, catching protected species, using outlawed types of gear, and disregarding catch quotas.
The treaty includes special rules on the obligation to share information, duties of flag states, and exceptions to allow help for ships in distress.
The FAO is located in Rome. Click here for more information about the FAO.