Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

G20 affirms commitment to end IUU fishing

© Matthew Camilleri / FAO

Leaders of the G20 have reaffirmed their commitment to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, describing it as a “serious threat to the sustainability of the ocean”.

Leaders of the G20 met in Osaka, Japan, on 28-29 June 2019 to make united efforts to address the world’s major economic challenges.

They recognised “the importance of addressing IUU fishing for ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources and conserving the marine environment including biodiversity”.

IUU fishing was particularly highlighted in the official G20 Leaders’ Declaration, which can be accessed here, in the section “Realizing an inclusive and sustainable world”, as one of three main environmental challenges.

Another key environmental challenge highlighted in the Declaration was marine plastic litter and microplastics. The G20 Leaders appealed for appropriate actions to prevent and reduce the discharge of plastic litter and microplastics to the ocean, and the reduction of additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050.

Earlier this week, members of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship appealed to G20 governments to close the net on IUU fishing by becoming Parties to the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA).

In a letter published in the Financial Times, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Shigeru Ito, Chairman – Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) Initiative, described the PSMA as “a powerful platform for governments and policymakers to help combat” the threat of IUU fishing, describing the Agreement as “an international treaty, in line with key targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to keep illegal fish out of ports” and appealing to “G20 countries and all important flag and port states to join [existing Parties to the PSMA] and implement this agreement”.