Demonstrating continued commitment to prevent illegal fishing and the trade of illegal fish products Mauritius has become the latest African country to accede to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). Holding a significant position as a seafood hub in the Western Indian Ocean, the accession and implementation of the PSMA by Mauritius will enable improved capability to stop illegal fishing and bring benefits to the region as a whole.
The objective of the PSMA is “to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing”. This is to be achieved through – among other things – inspections of vessels and the acquiring of certain information prior to granting or denying port access. The effect of which is, ensuring “the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems.”
Members of FISH-i Africa, the pioneering Task Force fighting illegal fishing in the Western Indian Ocean, applauded the move, Benedict Kiilu, Kenya commented “this is a great stride for Mauritius and for the region in general”.
Nicholas Ntheketha, Chair of FISH-i Africa said “It is great to see another FISH-i Africa member become party to the PSMA, it shows how seriously our region is in fighting illegal fishing and provides encouragement to us all.”
“The Seychelles were an early ratifier of the PSMA, we welcome this accession by Mauritius: our region is closing the loop” observed Roy Clarisse, Seychelles.
Deep Rumjee, Mauritius announced the accession stating “Mauritius recognize the PSMA as an important tool to help stop the illegal capture and trade of fish. We are delighted that this is now in place so that we can begin to implement the measure and realize the benefits of our oceans more fully.”