Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Parties to the PSMA agree on moving forward on the elaboration of an information exchange mechanism

© Matias Salas / FAO

On day 2 of the Meeting of the Parties to the 2009 Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), delegates from 44 Parties to the PSMA, 17 observer States, as well as 11 inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations discussed the way forward on the establishment of the global information exchange system to facilitate the implementation of the PSMA.

The information exchange system will allow the interchange of crucial information among Parties, other States, as well as FAO and other inter-governmental organizations, on foreign vessels seeking entry into, and using their ports.

Information such as whether such vessels have ever been denied entry into, or the use of other ports, whether they have a track record of poor compliance in the past, and outcomes of any inspections conducted, will be shared to allow the swift detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

Upon reflection on various possible options for the conceptual design of the information exchange system, Parties expressed widespread support for the future global system to have the ability to connect and complement existing national and regional port State systems already in place, while also providing the option for Parties that do not yet have such a system available to them, to access the global system directly.

Noting that the system will take some time to develop and put in place, Parties also expressed the necessity to take a phased approach to the development of the system, with immediate focus placed on ensuring basic information can be shared among Parties as soon as possible, and later efforts focused on elaborating the system’s functions.