FAO/General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean.
Report of the FAO/GFCM Workshop on Port State Measures to Combat Illegal, Unreported
and Unregulated Fishing. Rome 10–12 December 2007.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report. No. 857. Rome, FAO.
FAO had undertaken a wide range of activities to support the implementation of the 2005 FAO Model Scheme on Port State Measures to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing (FAO Model Scheme), including human resource development and capacity building at regional level. The thirty-first session of the GFCM (Rome, January 2007) endorsed the suggestion made by its Compliance Committee that a workshop on port State measures should be convened for the benefit of GFCM Members, mindful of international fisheries instruments, recent developments in international fora and the desirability of strengthening controls, based on the FAO Model Scheme.
The main objective of the FAO/GFCM Workshop on port State measures was to consider GFCM Members coordinated efforts regarding the strengthening and the harmonization of port State measures in the near future and, as a result, build on the requirements of the general guidelines for a GFCM Control and Enforcement Scheme and implement the FAO Model Scheme. In this respect, the workshop followed-up on the outcomes of the 2004 GFCM Workshop on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in the Mediterranean.
This paper refers to issues relating to the implementation of the FAO Model Scheme in the GFCM area at present and reviews GFCM Members’ port State measures with the aim to assess strengths, weaknesses, gaps and constraints for regional cooperation.
It is based on the responses to a questionnaire that was distributed by the GFCM to Members in May 2007. In order to facilitate the review of GFCM Members’ port State measures, the questionnaire was presented under headings that are consistent with those contained in the FAO Model Scheme and respondents were asked to indicate actions taken at the national level accordingly. In addition, existing laws and regulations enacted at national level by GFCM Members concerning port State measures are reported and compared to the provisions of the FAO Model Scheme. Though port State measures are generally considered by GFCM Members to be effective in controlling IUU fishing activities, the majority of national legislations related to the FAO Model Scheme needs to be updated and amended.
A summary of options for GFCM consideration are recommended in view of future actions to be taken to strengthen port State controls in the GFCM area since there appears to be a significant scope for further harmonization and implementation of port State measures. To this end, aspects such as cooperation among GFCM Members, including exchange of information and training of inspectors, the need for qualified human resources and efforts to develop integrated mechanisms of control both at national and regional levels will be prominent in the fight against IUU fishing.
It is suggested that the future elaboration of a regional scheme on port State measures by the GFCM, building on the IPOA–IUU and the FAO Model Scheme, has to be considered as a potentially useful tool for a more uniform implementation of port State measures.