Pew Calls for Countries to Implement Treaty to Stop Illegal Fishing

Contact: Kymberly Escobar, 202.887.8814

Rome, Italy - 11/23/2009 - The Pew Environment Group today welcomed an announcement by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization that the new treaty to address illegal fishing is open for signature and called on governments to ratify and implement this treaty.
Officially known as the Agreement of Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, the treaty specifies minimum standards for inspection and provides port States with the obligation to prohibit entry to illegal fishing vessels. 
“Governments must immediately start to crack down on illegal fishing and refuse port entry to those responsible,” said Stefan Flothmann, director of International Ocean Governance at the Pew Environment Group. “Ratifying and implementing the treaty is critical to end illegal fishing.”
The treaty is now open for signature with some countries already signing at yesterday’s meeting. The agreement will legally enter into force after 25 countries have ratified it.  In 1993, the FAO Compliance Agreement Treaty took almost ten years to come into force.
“The illegal fishing crisis is such that we cannot afford to wait for this treaty to enter into force,” said Flothmann. “Port States should begin to implement the treaty’s standards individually and as members to Regional Fisheries Management Organizations to prevent further damage to the marine environment and the livelihood of legitimate fishers.”

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