The government of Mozambique has today became the third African country to ratify the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). Illegal fishing is responsible for a $35 million loss for Mozambique and $10-$23.5 billion loss from the global economy each year.
WWF Mozambique Country Director Anabela Rodrigues noted that, “By ratifying this important treaty, the Government is showing real national and international leadership in the fight against illegal fishing practices that threaten the resources and fishing communities of Mozambique.”
African countries are highly targeted by distant water fishing vessels that undertake Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. This is due to insufficient fisheries monitoring and governance in the region. Mozambique joins Seychelles and Gabon in Africa and eleven other countries globally that have already ratified the agreement. These countries include: Chile, European Union, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Sri Lanka and Uruguay. The ratification means that Mozambique will be better able to curb illegal fishing practices, close its markets to illegally caught fish and close its ports to illegal operators.
“We hope that other countries will follow the example of Mozambique and ratify this important global agreement. Ratifying and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement is one of actions governments can take in the fight illegal practises in fishing,” notes Ms. Rodrigues.
IUU fishing in Mozambique includes fishing without a license, unauthorized trans-shipments, failing to report catches and making false reports, keeping juvenile fish or fish that are otherwise protected, fishing in closed areas or during closed seasons, or using prohibited fishing gear that damages ecosystems. These practices endanger community livelihoods bearing in mind that two-thirds of Mozambique’s population lives along the coast and depends on fish as a key source of food and employment. The Port State Measures agreement is a cost-effective way to ensure national and international action to prohibit vessels that are suspected of illegal activity from landing at ports or receiving port services.
The Port State Measures Agreement was brokered by 92 nations through the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and was opened for signature on November 23, 2009. The agreement…. Continue Reading