U.S. ratification boost for global effort to combat rogue fishing
US Ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Rome, David Lane, today formally presented FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva with the US' instrument of ratification of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.
"FAO is a strong partner in the promotion of sustainable fisheries, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with you and the entire global community in the fight against illegal fishing," Ambassador Lane said.
For his part the FAO Director-General said he wished to "thank the US for its partnership on such an important issue".
"Combatting illegal fishing is a crucial goal not only for small island developing states, but also for major countries like the US," Graziano da Silva added.
The Agreement comes into force when 25 countries or regional economic blocs have deposited their instrument of adherence with the FAO Director-General. To date 22 instruments of adherence have been deposited by 21 countries, and the European Union on behalf of its members. Among the latest are Barbados, Republic of Korea and South Africa.
Graziano da Silva told Ambassador Lane that several other countries have expressed a willingness to become party to the Agreement and that the target of 25 could be reached by July this year.
Illicit fishing, which includes operating without authorization, harvesting protected species, using outlawed fishing gear and violating quota limits, may account for up to 26 million tonnes a year, or more than 15 percent, of the world's total annual capture fisheries output.
Besides economic damage, such practices can threaten local biodiversity and food security in many countries. ■