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SEYCHELLES ACCESSION TO UN TREATY TO COMBAT ILLEGAL FISHING ACTIVITIES (PORT STATE MEASURES AGREEMENT)

24.06.2013

Ministry of Natural Resources & Industry (MNRI)

PRESS RELEASE

24.06.2013

SEYCHELLES ACCESSION TO UN TREATY TO COMBAT ILLEGAL FISHING ACTIVITIES (PORT STATE MEASURES AGREEMENT)

The instrument of accession to the UN treaty to combat illegal fishing activities, better known as the Agreement of Port State Measures was deposited to the Legal Department of the FAO, with a verbal note last week, stating that Seychelles consents to apply the Agreement in accordance to Article 32 which states :

This Agreement shall be applied provisionally by states or regional economic integration organizations which consent to its provisional application by so notifying the Depository in writing.  Such provisional application shall become effective from the date of receipt of the notification.

The treaty, known as the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, will help ensure that illegally harvested fish do not enter the commercial trade.

The Agreement will enter into force after ratification or accession by 25 FAO members.

So far 23 countries are signatory to it and only 5 including the European Union who is one of our main partner in fisheries have ratified or acceded.  Seychelles will be the first country on the African continent to have acceded to the Agreement.

An estimated 10 to 23 billion USD is lost annually worldwide due to IUU fishing.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that threatens sustainable fisheries including our Blue Economy. It undermines the sustainable practices of legitimate fishing operations, threatens food security and denies coastal countries the benefits from their resources, also and unfairly competes with sustainable seafood products.

As one of the major tuna fishing port of the region where 85% of tuna caught in the South West Indian Ocean are landed or transshipped in our port, it is important for Seychelles to be part of this global effort to help combat illegal fishing.

All fish caught commercially at sea must eventually come to port. The Port State Measures Agreement requires nations that are party to the Agreement to take a number of practical steps to deny port entry and access to port services to foreign fishing and transport vessels that have harvested fish in violation of applicable rules or vessels that have supported such fishing such as for refuelling, provision of crew etc.

The Seychelles Fishing Authority will be the implementing agency of this Agreement. The Fisheries Bill being revised will address its legal framework.

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