World's first binding accord on illegal fishing comes into force in June

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Inspectors will be able to check on actual fish catches on visiting ships under the new Agremeent. Photo: FAO

The world's first binding accord on illegal fishing is due to enter into force next month, after reaching the required threshold of countries who have agreed to sign up.

The so-called Port State Measures Agreement was drawn up by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2009.

Thirty members have now formally agreed to its terms, meaning it will become international law on 5 June.

Dianne Penn has more.

The agreement, known as the PSMA, is a ground-breaking accord which is designed to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing around the world.

It's designed to work by bringing together port states, who will apply the new rules robustly to all foreign vessels who seek entry to their harbours, or which are already in port.

FAO hopes the measures to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, will harmonize port rules, increase regional and international cooperation, and block the flow of illegally-caught fish.

Collectively, 29 countries and the European Union, which signed up as a single party, represent 62 per cent of worldwide fish imports, and nearly half of all fish exports.

The FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, said that it marked the "dawn of a new era" in the effort to combat illegal fishing.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 57"

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