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International Agreement to Combat Trade in IUU Fish Products Takes Effect June 5

Friday, May 20, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Port State Measures Agreement, the first-ever binding international accord specifically targeting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, will take effect June 5 now that 30 members of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have deposited their instruments of adherence.

According to an FAO press release, the PSMA requires that parties designate specific ports for use by foreign vessels, which among other things must request permission to enter ahead of time, provide local authorities with information (including on the fish they have on board), and allow inspection of their log books, licenses, fishing gear and actual cargo. These requirements apply to any use of a port, so even vessels that are just refueling will have to comply.

The PSMA also calls on countries to deny entry to or inspect vessels that have been involved in IUU fishing and to take necessary action. To support this, the agreement includes the obligation for parties to share information regionally and globally regarding any vessels discovered to be involved in IUU fishing.

The following states and regional economic integration organization, which represent 62 percent of worldwide fish imports and 49 percent of fish exports, are parties to the PSMA: Australia, Barbados, Burma, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, European Union, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Iceland, Mauritius, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, United States, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

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