Sweden pledges $5.4m to help FAO tackle illegal fishing
The pledge was made following an FAO co-hosted event to discuss one such initiative; the Port State Measures Agreement, which took place in Oslo, Norway.
After a meeting between FAO’s director-general, José Graziano da Silva, and Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister Bucht said: “The Port State Measures Agreement is one of the most important tools for addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
“Such fishing activities are a threat to marine life and impede the development and prosperity of vulnerable countries. This harmful fishing must be completely stopped.”
The Port State Measures Agreement event, which discussed progress, one year in which it went into effect, of the world’s first treaty designed to combat illegal fishing, was also co-hosted by the governments of Norway, Sweden, Indonesia and Palau.
Mr da Silva spoke at the event alongside Minister Bucht and and representatives from Indonesia, Palau and Norway.
Mr da Silva reminded participants that: “The Port State Measures is a landmark agreement as it endows port states – where vessels land – with powers previously held only by the states whose flag a vessel flies. This is a cost-effective innovation compared to trying to police the open seas for rogue actors.”
He noted that FAO has already committed more than $1.5m from its regular budget as “seed money” for Port State Measures capacity development activities. He also welcomed voluntary commitments to increase funds available for these activities.
Other FAO initiatives to combat illegal fishing include its Global Record of Fishing Vessels, which aims to provide a single access point for information on vessels used for fishing and fishing-related activities, with the primary objective being to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by enhancing transparency and traceability. ■