Agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas

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One of the key agreements aimed at promoting compliance with international conservation and management measures by fishing vessels on the high seas is the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA). The PSMA is an international treaty adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and entered into force on June 5, 2016.

The purpose of the PSMA is to prevent illegally caught fish from entering international markets through the strengthening of port state controls. It provides a set of minimum standards and measures that port states should undertake when foreign fishing vessels seek access to their ports. By implementing these measures, the agreement aims to discourage and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is a major threat to marine ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.

Under the PSMA, port states are required to conduct inspections of fishing vessels, including their documentation, catch, and equipment, to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. If a vessel is found to be engaged in IUU fishing, the port state can take a range of actions, such as denying access to port services, refusing port entry, or taking legal measures, to address the illegal activities.

The PSMA also encourages cooperation among port states, flag states, and relevant regional fisheries management organizations to share information and coordinate efforts to combat IUU fishing effectively. It promotes the exchange of information on vessels involved in IUU fishing, enhances training and capacity-building programs, and facilitates regional and international cooperation to strengthen monitoring, control, and surveillance of fishing activities.

By promoting compliance with international conservation and management measures, the PSMA contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems, and the eradication of IUU fishing practices on the high seas.

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