Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Ongoing Capacity Building Efforts

Following the entry into force of the PSMA, implementation became an important focus, and FAO stepped up its capacity development efforts to assist developing countries in their implementation of the PSMA. Technical assistance and capacity development is being delivered by FAO through three different mechanisms.


Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCPs)

Assistance is being provided through TCPs in support of activities either specifically concerning the adoption and implementation of the PSMA or related to the broader context of combatting IUU fishing. Since 2015, thirty-seven countries have received support through TCPs.


FAO’s Global Capacity Development Programme to support the implementation of the PSMA and complementary international instruments and regional mechanisms to combat IUU fishing

The Programme was endorsed by FAO in December 2016. All projects developed under the Programme aim at improving States’ capacity for the effective implementation of port State measures (PSMs) and complementary monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) operations, measures and tools to combat IUU fishing,[1] with the implementation of different Programme elements in each country depending on their state of advancement in the adoption and implementation of provisions and procedures consistent with the PSMA and complementary MCS operations, measures and tools to combat IUU fishing.

At the country level, projects’ activities include assistance to: 

  • strengthen national policy and legislative frameworks to combat IUU fishing;
  • the strengthening of MCS enforcement institutions and systems, including through South-South Cooperation and mechanisms for regional harmonisation, coordination and cooperation;
  • the enhancement of capacity to improve flag State performance in line with the FAO Voluntary Guidelines, to perform inspections in port and to more effectively take action against persons and entities engaged in IUU fishing; and,
  • the implementation of market access measures, such as catch documentation and traceability schemes.


PSMA Assistance Fund to be established within the framework of Part 6 of the PSMA

In the future, Parties to the PSMA will also be able to access support through the PSMA Assistance Fund to be established by the Parties and administered by FAO within the framework of Part 6 of the PSMA. The draft terms of reference for the funding mechanisms to assist developing States parties was recommended for consideration by the Parties at their next meeting.

The Part 6 Working Group requested that FAO develop a global Capacity Development tool. Its scope is to manage and disseminate information in view of developed initiatives and to support the implementation of assistance under the FAO umbrella programme or other mechanisms.

[1] These include: conservation and management measures adopted by relevant RFMOs, the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance, the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate IUU Fishing, the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, other bilateral agreements, market access measures, including the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Catch Documentation Schemes.