FAO Fisheries Department
After several years of negotiations, countries have taken a major step against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), one of the greatest threats to sustainable fisheries and related livelihoods.
International guidelines developed through an FAO-led consultative process aim to cut down on IUU fishing by improving the accountability of flag states - those countries which register fishing vessels and authorize them to fly their flags.
The guidelines include recommended approaches to encourage and help flag states comply with their international duties and obligations regarding the flagging and control of fishing vessels. They also present possible actions in response to non-compliance.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance were agreed upon after over five years of consensus-building among FAO Member Countries. The guidelines will be presented to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) for endorsement at its next Session in June, 2014.