Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA)

Benin becomes the 70th Party to the PSMA


Benin has become the seventieth Party to the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, thirty days after depositing its instrument of accession with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The PSMA, which is the first binding international agreement that specifically targets IUU fishing by preventing foreign vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches, entered into force in June 2016, thirty days after the date of deposit of the 25th instrument of accession.

Five years later, the number of Parties has more than doubled to 70 Parties, including the European Union which is a Party on behalf of its 27 member States.

IUU fishing undermines national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably, consequently also threatening the livelihoods and food security of millions of vulnerable people dependent on fishing for their subsistence. The rapid growth in the number of Parties to the PSMA is a very promising indicator of the commitment of States to safeguard the long-term sustainability of global fisheries.

With 59% of all port States globally, and 67% of port States in West Africa now Party to the PSMA, there is clear determination globally, and specifically in the region, to eliminate detrimental IUU fishing operations. The more Parties there are effectively implementing the PSMA, the less opportunity there is for vessels engaged in IUU fishing to continue to operate.

FAO encourages the remaining port States around the world to deposit their instruments of adherence to become Party to the PSMA as soon as possible. FAO also stands ready to provide technical assistance to developing States to effectively implement the Agreement through its Global Programme.

Photo: ©FAO/Sia Kambou