Following the ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) by Gambia's National Assembly on the 30th of March 2016, being the 25th nation to do so, the PSMA will now formally come into force on the 5th of June 2016.
The PSMA, designed to prevent trade in illegally caught fish, has been widely supported as a cost effective means of tackling Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Mr. Séraphin Dedi, Secretary General of Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea(FCWC), stressed the importance of the news, “We have significant ports operating in the Gulf of Guinea and the PSMA is a great way of demonstrating our commitment to stopping illegal fishing as well as providing a practical tool to prevent illegal fish from entering the supply chain. FCWC will continue to support its members as they move towards ratification and implementation of the PSMA.” He also added that“Through the West Africa Task Force (WATF) we are already building a strong regional cooperation on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and the interagency approach championed by both the PSMA and the WATF will build stronger controls, develop more effective work practices and reduce the trade in illegal fish in our region."
Mrs. Sandy Davies of Stop Illegal Fishing welcomed the news "We are delighted to see the PSMA come into force, and to see so many of the key port States from Africa amongst the initial 25 parties. Through FISH-i Africa, the eight country strong Task Force in the Western Indian Ocean, we have already seen how effective it can be to deny access to ports, especially when a region stands together and makes a coordinated response.”