The Work Plan of IORA’s Working Group on the Blue Economy (WGBE) comprises of a list of projects/capacity building programmes under each of the Blue Economy focus areas that would be implemented over a short-term, medium-term and long-term period with the support of and commitments by Member States and Dialogue Partners.
Fisheries and aquaculture remains a priority area for most of the Member States including a focus to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. IUU fishing, foreign and national, undermines the sustainable management and exploitation of the world’s fisheries resources. IUU fishing constitutes a persistent and pressing problem estimated to account for up to USD23 billion annually in regions of the Eastern Indian Ocean alone. The impacts of IUU fishing are first environmental driving the depletion of fish stocks, and secondly social and economic, affecting those working in the fisheries sector, and communities depending primarily on these resources.
Australia, through the CSIRO, has committed to support activities related to this topic. These include sharing of information on surveillance of IUU fishing and ship tracking with other Member States, developing analytical tools for fisheries monitoring and surveillance data (VMS, AIS, community reporting, observer and logbook data, licensing data), and making available several low-cost remote sensing surveillance technologies. France also expressed interest in pursuing its support to activities regarding fisheries management including fight against IUU fishing in the IORA region, notably through the Agence Française de Development (AFD). In the context of the AFD technical assistance assessments were made of the capacity needs required and the current level of implementation of Port State Measures as well as an analysis of measures to combat IUU fishing in the IORA region. These technical reports have already been circulated to IORA Member States and their main findings will be presented during this webinar.
The FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) is an international agreement that specifically targets IUU fishing. It lays down a minimum set of standard measures for Parties to apply when foreign fishing vessels seek entry into their ports or while they are in their ports.
The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to which 21 IORA Member State are party, adopted two resolutions related to the Port State Measures (PSM): Conservation and Management Measures (CMM) 16/11 on port state measures; and CMM 05/03 on the establishment of an IOTC Programme of Inspection in Port. IOTC provides technical assistance to those of its contracting parties requiring further capacity in implementing these CMMs.
The webinar will be hosted by the IORA Secretariat and organized with the support of the AFD technical assistance provided by COFREPECHE. It will be introduced by the IORA Secretariat and the IORA Core Group on Fisheries Management (CGFM) and include presenters from CSIRO, AFD (COFREPECHE), FAO and IOTC.
Title: Combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and especially through PSMA application in the IORA region.
Venue: Virtual Meeting
Date: Thursday, 16 September 2021 07:00 – 09:30 (GMT).
The webinar will be moderated by Aubrey Harris, the main resident expert of the AFD technical assistance to IORA in fisheries, aquaculture and the marine environment.
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