Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Home > Director-General > My statements > detail
Director-General  José Graziano da Silva
A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
Check against delivery

31 May 2017

Port State Measures Agreement First Meeting of the Parties

First of all, I would like to thank and commend the Government and people of Norway for hosting this important and successful event.

Let me observe that less than two years ago, only 13 signatories had adhered to the FAO Port State Measures Agreement, the P-S-M-A.

We should all be very proud that in 2-years’ time, we have not only managed to get all signatories needed for the P-S-M-A to enter into force, but we are already taking decisive steps towards putting this Agreement into action.

As of today, 48 Members, including the European Union as one, have deposited their instruments of adhesion to the PSMA.

The latest ones are Montenegro (17 May) and Japan (19 May).

This clearly demonstrates the significance and potential of the Agreement as a legally binding global instrument to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

And one of the main conditions for the
P-S-M-A to achieve good results is to have a large number of countries preventing vessels from landing their illegal catches.

Otherwise, if a vessel cannot disembark their catches in one country, it will to do in the neighboring country. 

I am very confident that more and more countries will join the P-S-M-A in the near future.

This global effort is also part of our common quest to safeguard global marine natural resources and achieve sustainable development.

The P-S-M-A is expected to generate a number of co-benefits, which include for instance:

reducing pressure on the sustainability of marine fisheries;

developing fisheries governance;

improving livelihoods and food security of coastal communities;

and reducing illegal activities linked to IUU fishing, such as trafficking, labor abuses and slavery.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

This first meeting of the Parties has taken decisions that will shape the modus operandi for the implementation of the Agreement.

Roles and duties of countries, international organizations and other key players need to be clear, and strategies for operations and international coordination well defined.

Immediately following this meeting, the Ad-Hoc Working Group foreseen in Article 21 will convene for the first time.

The working group is expected to initiate discussions on priorities for supporting developing States Parties, and to make recommendations on the establishment of suitable funding mechanisms.

FAO has its own responsibilities outlined in the
P-S-M-A, and I assure you that we will fulfill them with efficiency.

As you know, we have launched a Global Programme to support developing countries who express interest in building their capacity to implement the P-S-M-A and also complementary instruments.

This Global Programme is focused on policy, legal and technical assistance. It is designed to be implemented through a number of national and regional projects in collaboration with international partners.

FAO has already committed USD 1.5 million for PSMA-related capacity development activities, and I wish to thank Norway, Sweden and the United States of America for their confirmed contributions to the Global Programme.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is a crucial moment. We have in our hands the opportunity to put forward a comprehensive framework for action to combat IUU fishing.

A framework that is anchored in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and also includes the Voluntary Guidelines on Catch Documentation Schemes and the Global Record of Fishing Vessels.

We have all the instruments necessary to achieve our goal.

I would like to commend the efforts and commitments of FAO Member Countries, UN agencies and other international organizations, regional fishery bodies and NGOs.

Our work together has allowed us to reach this point.

I am confident that through your continued determination to effectively implement the provisions of the P-S-M-A, we will move ahead with determination to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.

Thank you very much