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Bureau régional de la FAO pour le Proche-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord

FAO and Sudan Government adopt National Strategy and Action Plan for IUU Fishing

The strategy aims at complying with the PSMA and putting an end to IUU fishing

Inspectors will be able to check on actual fish catches on visiting ships under the PSMA.

Khartoum, Sudan, 5 October 2017 – In effort to advance the vital fishing industry in Sudan, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Government of Sudan have joined forces and developed a national strategy and action plan to comply with the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

PSMA and IUU Fishing

PSMA aims at preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably as well as efforts to conserve marine biodiversity. IUU fishing, for example, includes fishing activities that breach national, regional and international laws as well as non-reporting, misreporting or under-reporting of information on fishing operations and their catches.

Estimately, IUU fishing across the world’s oceans weighs in at around 11–26 million tonnes of fish each year or at a price tag of US$10–23 billion. PSMA works to prevent vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches, reducing the incentive of such vessels to continue to operate and blocking fishery products derived from IUU fishing from reaching national and international markets.

Although the PSMA was adopted in November 2009, it entered into force in June 2016 after the required threshold of 30 countries was reached to activate the agreement. Currently, there is a total of 48 parties to the agreement, with Sudan being just one of two countries in the Near East and North Africa Region to sign onto the accord.

Sudanese National Strategy and Action Plan

FAO Sudan and the Sudanese Ministry of Animal Resources have been working on the national strategy and action plan for the past five days in a joint workshop. During the workshop, both parties reviewed the compliance with the provisions of the agreement and in formulating national strategies and an action plan to gradually fulfil the requirements set forth in the PSMA and related international instruments and regional mechanisms.

“Abiding to set agreements and regulations, such as the PSMA, is an imperative step to enhance Sudan’s fisheries industry and to contribute positively to the national and international economy. We have witnessed great commitment and enthusiasm from the Sudanese Government to carry out this strategy and FAO will always be present to provide any needed support or guidance,” said Babagana Ahmadu, FAO Representative in Sudan.

“This strategy ensures a better future for Sudan’s legitimate fisheries and coastal communities and will put a stop to illegal fishing by foreign vessels. We will work tirelessly to implement every aspect of the strategy to enhance the food security and livelihoods of fishers as well as the sustainability of local and shared fish stocks,” mentioned H.E. Mabrouk Mubarak Salim, State Minister of Animal Resources.

The strategy outlines the necessary actions required to effectively adopt and implement the provision of the PSMA, including policy, legal and institutional change as well as capacity building and external support. Indirectly, the implementation of the national strategy will benefit legitimate fishers and coastal communities whose food security and livelihoods depend on the sustainability of local and shared fish stock.

Fisheries in Sudan

Sudan produces an estimate of 25 000 tonnes of fish, valued at USD 510 million. The industry employs more than 220 000 people, where women constitute at least half of this number.

Although the industry in Sudan has seen improved production and economic empowerment, it still faces several constraints. The country has a weak, almost non-existent, monitoring, control and surveillance mechanism (MCS) for fisheries management, leading to the widespread practice of IUU fishing. The developed national strategy and action plan will work to reverse the situation and provide an efficient fishing industry.

FAO Framework

The Organization’s assistance is provided to the Government of Sudan under the framework of the FAO Technical Cooperation Project: Technical assistance for the formulation of national strategies and action plans to improve compliance with the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA). This is one of the many projects led by FAO to accomplish Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.