Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing
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PSMA Parties launch GIES Pilot Phase. Global Capacity Development Portal online


At their third Meeting (31 May-4 June 2021), Parties to the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) have given the green light to FAO to launch the PSMA Global Information Exchange System (GIES) to enter a Pilot Phase.

The GIES, currently a fully functioning prototype, was developed by FAO at the request of the Parties during their second Meeting, in 2019.

The GIES is designed to support the implementation of the PSMA, which aims to block fish products derived from IUU fishing from entering international markets. The GIES will permit the sharing of vital information, including denials of port entry or use of foreign-flagged vessels into designated ports, as well as inspection reports about these vessels under suspicion of having engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Third Meeting of the Parties to the PSMA, convened virtually,  constituted the first review meeting to assess the Agreement’s effectiveness in achieving its objective in combatting IUU fishing.

During the Pilot Phase, Parties will be able to upload data in the GIES and share it in near real-time amongst authorities with access to the system. The PSMA Secretariat encouraged as many Parties as possible to take part in this phase to contribute feedback to the Technical Working Group on Information Exchange (TWG-IE), to be convened in 2022 to assess the GIES’ technical features, before the system will be finalised and presented to the Fourth Meeting of the Parties.

Alicia Mosteiro, FAO Fisheries Officer, addressed queries put forward by Parties, Non-Parties and Observers during the meeting and took note of matters raised which will now be followed in the Technical Working Group.

Prior to the Third Meeting of the Parties, FAO organised three webinars to introduce the components and functionality of the GIES.

Global Capacity Development Portal online

During the same meeting, Parties also welcomed the recent launch by FAO of its Global Capacity Development Portal App for projects assisting States’ capacity to combat IUU fishing.

Dr Matthew Camilleri, Leader of the FAO Fisheries Global and Regional Processes Team, explained that the purpose of the Portal is to provide a snapshot of capacity development initiatives lead by different entities, which will allow for better coordination, the possible avoidance of duplication of efforts, and the maximisation of resources available.

The Portal will also help project donors and implementing institutions to prioritise regions, countries, or thematic areas that may need further capacity development. It will also be of benefit to recipient countries to understand further capacity development opportunities. The Global Capacity Development Portal App was developed by FAO with the support of the European Union and Sweden.

So far, through its Global Capacity Development Programme, FAO has assisted 43 countries in reviewing their legislation, strengthening their institutional capacity, improving their monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) systems and operations, to effectively implement the PSMA. Eszter Hidas, FAO Fisheries Officer, gave a brief presentation of FAO’s Global Capacity Development Programme.

The Third Meeting of the Parties, held between 31 May and 4 June, was hosted by the European Union.