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Brazil signs on to high seas fishing agreement

FAO compliance agreement is a unique effort to improve management of high seas fishing and fight illegal fishing

2 March 2009, Rome - Brazil today became the thirty-eighth country to become a Party to the FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas.

In a ceremony held today at FAO's Rome headquarters, Minister Altemir Gregolin, Brazil's Minister for Aquaculture and Fisheries, formally deposited his country's instrument of acceptance of the FAO Compliance Agreement at the UN food agency's Rome headquarters.

The Compliance Agreement is one of the few international legally binding instruments that addresses fishing activities in "high seas" areas occurring outside countries' exclusive economic zones. Parties to the Agreement must actively ensure that fishing vessels flying their flag adhere to responsible fishing practices when operating on the high seas.

"Our country is proud to have actively participated in all processes of negotiation of international legal instruments in force related to fisheries and aquaculture activities, so this instrument of acceptance represents the reaffirmation of the commitment of the Brazilian government to the sustainability of high seas fisheries, through the full exercises of its responsibilities, jurisdiction and control over fishing vessels flying its flag," said Minister Gregolin.

"With every country that participates in the Compliance Agreement, we are coming closer to the goal of making sure that every boat that fishes on the high seas is doing so in a responsible way that ensures the long term, sustainable use of marine fisheries resources," said FAO's Assistant-Director General for Fisheries, Ichiro Nomura. "We welcome Brazil's participation and look forward to seeing more countries follow their example."

The Compliance Agreement is open to acceptance by any Member or Associate Member of FAO, and to any non-member State that is a member of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies of the United Nations or of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

It entered into force on 24 April 2003 when the twenty-fifth FAO Member, the Republic of Korea, deposited its instrument of acceptance with FAO's Director General.

The present Parties to the FAO Compliance Agreement are: Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, the European Community, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, the Republic of Korea, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia , Seychelles, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, the United States of America, and Uruguay.

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
Left to right: James Butler, FAO Deputy Director General; FAO Assistant Director for Fisheries, Ichiro Nomura; Altemir Gregolin, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Brazil.

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