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Fiji Navy calls for review of IUU fishing

May 28, 2018 5:28 am

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishers rely on a range of tactics and loopholes in international law to get their product to the market.

However laxity in law enforcement, limited inspection capacity at sea and in our ports and loopholes in our systems are a prime pathway for unethical fishermen or fishing vessels to get their catch from the ships to the market.

This was highlighted during the Navy’s submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in the Review of the agreement on port state measures (PSMA) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Support Commander Marika Vosaki says enforcing the PSMA will refuse port entry or access to port services, including landing and transshipment of fish, to foreign-flagged vessels known to have engaged in IUU fishing.

IUU vessels, if entering into port, will be subject to immediate inspection under the agreement, and the results of the inspection will be communicated to other relevant States and organizations to facilitate cooperation in enforcement actions. As a result, IUU fishers will have fewer and fewer ports where they can offload their illegal catch.”

Vosaki says the adoption of the agreement that allows this to take place will greatly benefit Fiji by adopting and implementing best international practices highlighted within the PSMA that is consistent amongst regional FFA member states.

This is towards collective protection and sustainable fisheries management which in turn will maximize fisheries revenue.