Guyana ratifies Port States Measures Agreement

The South American country of Guyana became the 23rd country to ratify the Port State Measures Agreement, the international accord designed to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The announcement Wednesday, 23 March brought the PSMA closer to taking effect, which will occur once 25 countries have ratified the treaty.

Originally adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2009, the PSMA stipulates authorities at ports of entry for seafood conduct dockside inspections, block entry to vessels known to be involved in IUU and share information with other parties to the PSMA regarding vessels known or believed to contain IUU product.

The treaty is necessary to prevent drastic economic and environmental damage caused by IUU fishing, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts' illegal fishing project director Tony Long.

“Around the world, IUU fishing has been estimated to cost up to USD 23.5 billion [EUR 21 billion] each year,” Long said. “That amounts to about 1 in every 5 wild-caught marine fish. These practices destroy marine ecosystems, deplete fish stocks, and endanger the livelihoods of those in coastal communities who rely heavily on fishing.”

Larger countries that have signed on so far include the United States, Australia, Norway, South Korea as well as the European Union, which counts as one signatory party under the accord. In South America, Chile and Uruguay have also signed the agreement.


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