ILLEGAL FISHING ADDRESSED
Fishing that does not comply with national, regional or global fisheries conservation and management obligations is an issue of major importance for maritime nations like Fiji.
Such illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities are being addressed by the Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL) and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests that will see the two organizations working together to eliminate IUU fishing from Fiji’s waters.
The MOU will facilitate the sharing of information on foreign and Fiji fishing vessels, regular inter-agency consultation for the management of fishing vessels in port and the capacity building of port state inspectors. It will also assist in carrying out port related measures or requirements under regional and international fisheries treaties.
“This MOU is important as both parties deal with the operational aspect of fishing vessels. The information exchange will benefit a partnership that works for the best interest of the nation,” said FPCL CEO Mr Vajira Piyasena.
IUU fishing activities have an economic impact that includes lost revenue from the landing fees, license fees and taxes that legitimate fishing companies pay and the loss of the value of the illegal catch as income for legal fishing operators.
Indirectly, IUU fishing impacts related industries with loss of employment opportunities and income.IUU fishing operations contribute to imbalances in the ecosystem and to reduced productivity, biodiversity and food security through non-compliance with regulations that mitigate environmental impacts.
The MOU will enable the monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing vessels that are suspected of or determined to have been engaged in IUU fishing activities.