The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has reported that countries have adopted the Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance, thereby contributing to efforts to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The guidelines were adopted following five years of consensus-building among FAO member countries.
The guidelines will be presented to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) for endorsement at its next session, scheduled to take place in June 2014. The flag State of a vessel is the State under whose laws the vessel is registered or licensed. The guidelines recommend approaches to encourage and help flag States comply with their international duties and obligations regarding the flagging and control of fishing vessels, as well as possible actions in response to non-compliance.
FAO indicates that it will monitor and report on implementation of the guidelines to COFI, as well as provide in-country technical assistance to countries requiring support, such as capacity-building measures, the strengthening of institutional organization and infrastructure, and the development or improvement of monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fishing vessels