International guidelines take aim at illegal fishing

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Cooperation among countries is crucial to sustainable fishing

Countries have agreed on international guidelines to tackle the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced in Rome on Thursday.

FAO says the "Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance" were agreed after more than five years of consensus-building among its Member Countries.

The guidelines aim to cut down on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by improving the accountability of flag states- countries that register fishing vessels and authorize them to fly their flags.

They include recommended approaches to urge, encourage, and help flag states comply with their international duties and obligations regarding the flagging and control of fishing vessels.

The proposed guidelines also present possible actions in response to non-compliance.

They also look at ways to cooperate with and assist developing states in capacity development, and the role that FAO can play in supporting these processes.

The guidelines will be presented to the FAO Committee on Fisheries for endorsement at its next Session in June, 2014.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'01"

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