Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Regional Workshop on Flag State Performance held online for five Caribbean countries

©FAO/Ernesto Benavides

Lead officers from fisheries, maritime and coast guard agencies of five Caribbean countries, together with other relevant stakeholders, took part in the first of four half-day virtual seminars, entitled ‘Regional Workshop on Flag State Performance’, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

These seminars form part of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) support project funded by the United States of America (USA) and implemented jointly by FAO and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The five Caribbean countries are The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

The workshop was originally planned as a one-week in-country event but had to be shifted online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The remaining sessions will now be held on the 29 October, 2 November and 5 November. 

The objective of this workshop is to assess the current national vessel information gathering and recording systems and how these systems support flag State performance; to review registration and authorization procedures; and to discuss mechanisms and tools for improved information-sharing and cooperation to ensure compliance with international obligations as flag States, and applicable laws and regulations. Holding this workshop on flag State performance in a regional context will provide the agencies with the opportunity to arrive to a common understanding of the issue, to reflect on improvements together and to strategically use relevant information for taking action against IUU fishing operators in the region. 

The outcome of these four sessions will be a list of action points which lays the foundations for the drafting of country-specific roadmaps focused on improving flag State performance at a national level towards fulfilling international obligations.

Further outputs will be structured materials and tools for countries to effectively implement the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance as well as other relevant international instruments and to improve the sharing of information and cooperation with other flag, port, coastal and market States in the region.