E-port system to help combat IUU fishing

February 1, 2024 4:07 pm

The Ministry of Fisheries is collaborating with the Forum Fisheries Agency to address the global challenge of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

The collaboration is intended to introduce a game-changing tool—the Electronic Port State Measure prototype system.

Permanent Secretary Atelaite Rokosuka emphasizes the serious implications of IUU fishing, saying that it not only depletes fish populations but also harms marine environments, disrupts coastal economies, and jeopardizes food security.

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The Permanent Secretary says the new e-system intends to provide a strong framework to prevent, discourage, and eliminate IUU fishing.

“Under this agreement, countries are required to conduct effective inspections of foreign vessels entering their ports to ensure that they have not engaged in illegal fishing. They are also obligated to share information on suspected vessels and take appropriate enforcement actions, including denial of access to ports and landing facilities.”

Rokosuka says that the objective is to implement a web-based portal to assist FFA members.

“The e-system will streamline the process of reporting and verifying information about fishing vessels entering port, making it more efficient and less prone to errors and delays. It will allow for the electronic submission of required documents, such as fishing licenses, vessel registration, and catch certificates, ensuring their prompt processing and verification.”

Forum Fisheries Agency representative Yaniba Alfred says that this work was part of the activities that were identified by the Ministry of Fisheries through the country partnership agreement last year.

The Ministry of Fisheries intends to set a pattern for effective and efficient anti-illegal fishing measures, ultimately contributing to the long-term management of marine resources and the safeguarding of coastal industries.