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The IPOA-IUU calls on States to use port State measures, in accordance with international law, to control port access by fishing vessels in order to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.

5.1 Advance notice of access

The IPOA-IUU calls on States to require vessels seeking access to their ports to seek prior permission to enter their ports and to provide reasonable advance notice of their entry into port, a copy of their authorization to fish, and details of their fishing trip and quantities of fish on board, in order to ascertain whether the vessel may have engaged in, or supported, IUU fishing.

The master of any foreign fishing vessel that wishes to enter PIC waters must give at least 72 hours advance notice of his intention to do so[38] and 24 hours notice prior to port entry.[39] All locally based foreign fishing vessels are required to be inspected and cleared by a fisheries officer after each port call, before any cargo or personnel can be off-loaded.

In conformity with international law, the PIC provides port access to foreign flagged vessels for reasons of force majeure or distress or for rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircrafts in danger or distress.

5.2 Denial of access

The IPOA-IUU calls on each port State, where it has clear evidence that a vessel has engaged in IUU fishing activity, to prohibit the vessel from landing or transhipping fish in its port, and to report the matter to the vessel's flag State.

Any foreign fishing vessel that is suspected of contravening international conservation and management measures may be denied entry into internal waters and if it has entered internal waters, directed to leave those waters.[40]

If a vessel is in port and following inspection and there is clear evidence that it has been involved in IUU fishing, an offence is considered to have been committed in the PIC and legal action can be initiated. In such a case, the PIC would inform the flag State and FFA of the details of the case as well as any FFA member State affected.

5.3 Authorized ports

The IPOA-IUU encourages States to publicize ports to which foreign flagged vessels may be permitted admission and to ensure that these ports have the capacity to conduct inspections.

The PIC has two ports of entry and reserves the right to inspect any fishing vessel in port.

Inspection of foreign vessels in port (including those that are not licensed to fish but come for duty free fuel or repair) will be intensified following proposed training on boarding and inspection by the regional organizations. As the WCPF Commission takes effect and the Commission possibly adopts catch certification schemes, a future priority will be to develop inspection capacity and train inspectors concerning any relevant documentation requirements.

In the immediate term, the PIC's ability to conduct in port inspections will be enhanced with the addition of personnel currently undergoing training and could be further enhanced with the use of PDS personnel. In the longer term it would be beneficial to have at-port inspectors trained to a regional standard and FFA would be the logical organization to implement such a programme along similar lines to the regional Observer Programme.

5.4 Evidence indicating IUU fishing

If, in the course of an inspection, a port State finds that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a vessel has engaged in or supported IUU fishing, the IPOA-IUU calls on port States to immediately report the matter to the flag State of the vessel and, where appropriate the RFMO. The port State may take other action with the consent of, or upon the request of, the flag State.

The PIC will continue its policy of informing the flag State of a vessel, if it has reasonable grounds to suspect any of its vessels have engaged in or supported IUU fishing. Reports will also be made to FFA and the WCPF Commission, as appropriate.

Where evidence is found indicating that a foreign vessel in port has encouraged or supported IUU fishing, PIC enforcement action can be taken. This is especially the case if IUU caught fish has been imported or if an offence has been committed in another State or in an area of the high seas subject to RFMO management or if the vessel is subject to a joint and reciprocal surveillance and enforcement arrangement in place with the PIC.

5.5 Cooperation with port States and through RFMOs

The IPOA-IUU calls on States to cooperate, as appropriate, bilaterally, multilaterally and within relevant RFMOs, to develop compatible measures for port State control of fishing vessels. The IPOA-IUU also encourages States to consider developing, within relevant RFMOs, port State measures building on the presumption that fishing vessels entitled to fly the flag of States not parties to a RFMO and which have not agreed to cooperate with that RFMO, which are identified as being engaged in fishing activities in the area of that particular organization, may be engaging in IUU fishing.

The PIC will continue to cooperate, mainly through regional organizations, with other port States in the Pacific Islands, to agree on mechanisms and information exchange to combat IUU fishing. The PIC will implement port State measures that may be adopted by the WCPF Commission and any other relevant RFMOs.

[38] Fisheries Management Act 2002, Part IX, S68(1).
[39] One of the terms and conditions of licence.
[40] Fisheries Management Act 2002, Part IX, S68(2).

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