Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Mozambique strengthens its commitment to combat IUU fishing


The Government of Mozambique formally endorses FAO two-year Work Plan to strengthen its capacity to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

The Ministry of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries of Mozambique has officially endorsed a two-year Work Plan, prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in consultation with the Ministry, to assist the country in increasing its efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The endorsement took place in a virtual ceremony held today and presided over by the Minister, Augusta de Fátima Charifo Maita.

Since it became a Party to the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), in 2014, Mozambique has strengthened its policy, legal, and operational frameworks, enabling it to take concrete actions against foreign vessels seeking entry into its ports when there is suspicion of involvement in IUU fishing. IUU fishing is globally estimated at USD 10 to USD 23 billion annually, affecting 1 in every 5 fish caught, affecting livelihoods, poverty, and food insecurity.

The Work Plan is anchored in the Strategy and Action Plan for the Implementation of the PSMA and Complementary International Instruments and Regional Mechanisms to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing in Mozambique. It was elaborated with the support of FAO and Stop Illegal Fishing and endorsed by the Minister in August 2020. The Work Plan is financed by the Swedish project on support for the implementation of the PSMA and related instruments to combat IUU fishing (GCP/INT/313/SWE).

The two-year Work Plan is intended to provide technical assistance to the country in the implementation of the PSMA and complementary international instruments, including through: the review of the Fisheries Policy and legal framework to facilitate implementation of the Mozambican Fisheries Regulations (REPMAR), in force since January 2021; the review and implementation of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Policy and Strategy including though databases of entry and exit from the Mozambican Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and electronic logbook; the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in line with the requirements of the PSMA; the design of an inter-agency mechanism of cooperation and coordination to combat IUU fishing; and training on port inspections, on the implementation of the SOP and enforcement.

“We welcome with great satisfaction the FAO technical assistance to Mozambique, which will support the strengthening of its capacities as a Port State, with a view to a more effective fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing”, said the Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries of Mozambique, Augusta de Fátima Charifo Maita. The Minister explained that more than 60 percent of the country’s population depends heavily on the sea as its main source of subsistence, with fishing a key area for Mozambique. “By its nature, the Indian Ocean is a place of abundant fishing resources that sustain a thriving fishing industry whose commercial value makes the region one of the main targets of IUU fishing, hence technical assistance. FAO’s role is paramount for the region.”

“IUU fishing undermines the global efforts to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries and management of marine resources; it is a global threat with impacts at various levels, including coastal communities, which depend on fishing for their livelihood,” said FAO Representative in Mozambique, Hernâni Coelho.

The virtual event also included the participation of Dr Matthew Camilleri, Leader of the FAO Fisheries Global and Regional Processes Team, who referred to Mozambique as a strategic country for FAO to fight IUU fishing due to its geopolitical position as well as the country’s full engagement with global and regional processes concerning fisheries management. Dr Camilleri also described the Work Plan presented today as one which will allow more concrete actions to be taken to close Mozambican ports to IUU fishing.

The details of the Work Plan and its rationale were presented by Dr Teresa Amador, International Fisheries Policy and Legal Expert, FAO Fisheries Global and Regional Processes Team.

More information about the FAO Port State Measures Agreement is available here.

Relevant link: Mozambique’s National Strategy and Action Plan updated