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FAO experts expound the PSMA at Moscow workshop

© Vladimir Mikheev / FAO
27/03/2019

At the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, a seminar on the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing was held today at the UN House in Moscow.

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Agency for Fishery, the Border Service of the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation, the Federal Customs Service, and the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, as well as experts from academic and industry institutions attended the workshop.

The Russian Federation signed the PSMA on 29 April 2010 and has been gradually making progress in order to ratify it.

In his opening statement, Pyotr Savchuk, the Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, highlighted that although there is a relevant legislation in the Russian Federation, ”which is quite strict as a matter of fact”, additional clarification on the mechanisms and benefits of the PSMA is most welcome. Moreover, it “would facilitate the path towards its ratification.”

Port State Measures came to prominence as an internationally acknowledged tool to combat IUU fishing, notably due to the increasing recognition by the international community of their effectiveness.

Matthew Camilleri, FAO’s Head of the Fishing Operations and Technology Branch, and his colleagues, Adela Rey Aneiros and Joao Neves, provided an overview of the status and legal framework of the PSMA and related international instruments, the correlation of port state measures with monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) tools, and the fundamental legal, policy, and institutional principles applied at the national level for the implementation of the PSMA.

The seminar also focused heavily on reviewing port State, flag State, coastal State, and market State responsibilities in relation to combatting IUU fishing.

 “Combatting IUU fishing at a global scale necessitates effective coordination and collaboration among flag, coastal, port and market States”, was the key message by Matthew Camilleri.

The crosscutting theme of the seminar was the strategy of the Russian Federation for the implementation of port state measures, as well as the prospects for the ratification of the PSMA.

The ratification, as Matthew Camilleri noted, “will allow Russia without significant changes in its legislation to assume more significant obligations for international cooperation to combat IUU fishing, including through a wider exchange of information at global level.”