“Canada is serious about ending illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “By preventing fish and seafood products derived from IUU fishing from entering our ports, we will not only help level the playing field for Canadian harvesters and Canadian businesses involved in the fish and seafood trade; we are also sending a very strong message that Canada’s ports have zero tolerance for illegally caught fish.”
The document’s objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by preventing vessels engaged in such activities from using ports and landing their harvest.
The agreement, which took effect in Canada on July 20, grants officials additional powers to deny port entry and use of port services for vessels carrying illegally harvested fish. It also increases protection and monitoring at Canadian ports during all stages of fishing operations, including vessel registration, fish harvesting and fish trade.
Since all fish must come through a port before entry into markets, limiting port access is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to eliminate IUU fishing, Canadian officials said.
The agreement was approved by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ conference in Rome in November 2009.
One in every five fish caught around the world every year is thought to originate from IUU fisheries, valued at $10 to $23 billion annually.
There are currently 61 signers to the agreement, including the United States of America, Japan, the European Union, Chile, the Republic of Korea, Iceland and Norway. A complete list of current signers is available online at http://www.fao.org/port-state-measures/background/parties-psma/en/