Palau ratifies international illegal fishing agreement

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Palau ratifies international illegal fishing agreement

Related tags: Food and agriculture organization

The island nation of Palau has become the first Pacific island state to ratify an international agreement to combat illegal fishing, which the FAO estimates will deprive the global economy of up to US$23bn each year and endanger biodiversity.

"I welcome Palau's ratification of the Port State Measure Agreement as the first-ever country in the Pacific to have done so​," said José Graziano da Silva, secretary general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference in Paris. 

"I hope this will encourage other small islands to do the same, as they are heavily dependent on fisheries, and for that reason, particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of illicit fishing​.”

Port state measures set standards for inspection of foreign vessels that seek to enter the port of another state. Importantly, the measures allow a country to block ships it suspects of having engaged in illicit fishing and thereby prevent illegally caught seafood from entering local and international markets.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices may account for as much as 26m tonnes of seafood each year, or more than 15 % of the total global output, the FAO estimates.

Related topics: Policy, Oceania, Supply chain, Seafood

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