JAKARTADAILY.ID – Over 200 delegates from around the world were gathered in Bali this week for the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures, which seeks to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).
Representatives from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations are also attending the meeting, which is being hosted by the Government of Indonesia.
The PSMA is the first binding international agreement aimed at IUU fishing. It prohibits vessels engaged in such fishing from accessing ports, thereby preventing the sale of fish derived from such activities in markets.
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The agreement has 75 parties, including the European Union on behalf of its member states. The meeting serves as a biennial forum for issues related to the implementation of the agreement.
Dr. Qu Dong Yu, FAO Director-General, addressed the opening session of the Fourth Meeting of the Parties in a recorded message. He referred to IUU fishing as a threat to marine resources and ecosystems, as well as the livelihoods of 600 million people who depend on them.
He emphasized the potential for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture to feed the world's growing population and support the increasing demand for healthy aquatic foods. "The PSMA can support the transformation of sustainable fisheries worldwide," Dr. Dongyu said.
Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia reiterated Indonesia's commitment to eliminating IUU fishing practices.
He highlighted Indonesia's role as an archipelagic state with 17,504 islands and 140 million people who depend on marine resources for their protein needs and work.
"Indonesia commits to creating a healthy and sustainable ocean, as well as eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices and intensifying law enforcement," the minister said.
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FAO Representative in Indonesia and Timor Leste Rajendra Aryal noted that Indonesia was one of the original signatories of the Port State Measures Agreement since November 2009.
He highlighted FAO's partnership with the Government of Indonesia and other states in the Asia Pacific Region in developing and managing the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and responding to emergencies impacting these sectors.
During this week's meeting, delegates will address issues including a strategy to increase the effectiveness of the PSMA, the Global Information Exchange System, an information technology tool developed by FAO upon the request of the Parties to share information on Port State Measures and the capacity development needs of developing States in combatting IUU fishing. The Fourth Meeting of the Parties is also supported by the Government of Norway through a funding contribution.
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