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IUU safe havens or PSMA ports: A global assessment of port State performance and risk

The 2009 Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) was the first legally binding international instrument to
empower port States to deny foreign vessels suspected of having engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing from using their ports and to land catches. This paper builds upon previous work analyzing 2020 AIS data to rank fishing ports globally and assessing evolving port State risk and port States performance in PSMA implementation.

Transshipment at Sea - The Need for a Ban in West Africa

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has found that many Western coastal countries in Africa have been unable to control and monitor transshipment at sea. These coastal countries have insufficient resources to inspect vessels before transshipment and instead rely on onboard observers monitoring for illegal activity, who have multiple shortcomings. With 37% of West African catch coming from IUU fishing, this activity puts marine management at risk and poses severe threats to the livelihoods of coastal countries' citizens. The EJF proposes banning transshipment at sea for these coastal countries, requiring them to work with the international community and improve their monitoring and control systems.

Tracking Refrigerated Transshipment Vessels to Inform the FAO's PSMA

Port State Measurement Agreements (PMSA) aim to combat IUU fishing by bringing international parties to enact legislation and regulation on foreign vessels entering port. Parties to the PMSA, Port-States, are responsible for monitoring whether a vessel has engaged in IUU fishing. Reefers (because of their role in transshipment) pose a serious problem in effectively tracking and monitoring IUU fishing, leading to harmful marine biodiversity activity and human rights abuses such as seafood slavery. However, reefers are readily equipped with Automatic Identification System (AIS) Technology which, this paper shows, has proven to be an effective tool in MCS that PMSA parties can continue to use.

The PSMA Implementation Toolkit - Pew

The UN adopted the Port State Measures Agreement (PMSA) in 2009 to stop the use of ports by IUU fishing and support vessels. However cost-effective they are, in many countries, particularly developing countries, a comprehensive set of tools is needed to support the practical implementation of the Agreement. To achieve this, the Pew Environmental Group developed the PMSA Toolkit, a resource that aims to help developing countries identify their capacity needs, provide them with key information, and guide them through the most technical and detailed elements of the Agreement.

Ports Task Force Ghana

The Ports Task Force Ghana (PTFG) is working diligently to implement the National Strategy and Action Plan for the implementation of the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and complimentary international instruments and mechanisms. They have identified the threats of allowing IUU fishing to move through their ports for what it does to local fisheries, the economy, and the country's people. Through a detailed course of action and various partnerships, PTFG will work to bring an end to vessels suspected of participating in IUU from entering Ghana's ports.

Keeping Illegally Caught Fish Out of African Ports

IUU fishing contributes to the over-exploitation of natural fisheries resources and is detrimental to coastal communities' quality of life. IUU fishing has targeted African ports, which are at particularly great harm from the practice. To deter IUU fishing, the Port State Measure Agreement (PMSA) came into force to enable port officials to deny foreign vessels access to their port and services such as refueling and repairs if suspected of illegal activities. However, Stop Illegal Fishing recognizes the agreement itself is not enough. With the support of others, they will work to implement the PMSA in African countries through a holistic approach that requires looking at legal and policy issues, compliance and enforcement, and cooperation and awareness.

A Capacity Needs Assessment Methodology - Building Capacity to Close Ports to Illegal Fishing Vessels and their Support Vessels - Pew

The UN's ambitious PMSA intends to stop IUU vessels from entering port and ensure that vessels are complying with conservation and management measures, among other responsibilities. However, developing nations were concerned about the resources required to build this capacity. In response, the PEW Environment group is working to create a Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) methodology, a tool states can use to find a personalized strategy in implanting the PSMA. The PMSA capacity building needs run the risk of being unfeasible for developing nations, but this CNA methodology provides a clear and accessible tool for bridging this divide.

Stop Illegal Fishing 2019 Annual Report

Stop Illegal Fishing's (SIF) mission is to combat IUU fishing, particularly in coastal African countries. To complete this goal, SIF has partnered with multiple African fisheries to implement the Port State Measure Agreement. SIF has a robust system to recognize and take action against illegally caught fish and illegal vessels (a check, inspect, and act process), which they are now developing into standard operating procedures (SOPs) that they train on the ground. They have also aided multiple task forces around Africa which translate into greater regional and international cooperation. Through their work in 2019, SIF is helping achieve a more equitable and effective blue economy.