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The second meeting of the PSMA Open-ended Technical Working Group on Information Exchange takes place in Seoul, Korea

© Chung woon Park / FAO
16/05/2019

The second meeting of the Open-ended Technical Working Group on Information Exchange (TWG-IE), an informal working group established by the Parties to the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) at their first meeting in May 2017, began yesterday in Seoul, Korea.

The meeting brings together technical experts from 54 States around the world, 33 of which are Party, and 21 non-Party to the PSMA, as well as seven intergovernmental and two non-governmental organizations.

The PSMA is a binding international agreement that targets illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Its objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by preventing vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches. 

The TWG-IE is in charge of guiding the development of a critical technical component of the PSMA, namely the global information exchange system.

Indeed, efficient electronic exchange of information among Parties, relevant States, regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), and other relevant international organizations forms the backbone of effective implementation of the PSMA.

The information exchange system that is to be developed will need to permit Parties to the PSMA to, on the one hand, compile information on decisions taken regarding foreign vessels seeking entry into their ports, and results of inspections of foreign vessels in their ports. On the other hand, Parties will need to be able to access this compiled information in near real-time, in order to make informed decisions about whether to allow foreign vessels to enter into their ports and, whether to inspect these vessels, based on the compiled past compliance history information on vessels in the system.

During this week’s meeting, the working group will develop recommendations regarding the conceptual design of the information exchange system, which will be put forward for endorsement by the Parties to PSMA at their second meeting from 3-6 June 2019 in Santiago, Chile.