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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Statement of Mark Stevens, campaign manager, National Environmental Trust, on the UN Committee on Fisheries agreeing to crack down on illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing
Rome, Italy - This week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held its biennial meeting in Rome. COFI heard from its member countries and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on ways to stop pirate fishing on the high seas.
"The international community took an important first step this week toward closing ports to illegally-caught fish by agreeing to negotiate a binding agreement. The success of this port state agreement hinges on ratification and implementation.
"While this is definitely good news, it will be at least two years before this agreement takes effect. In the meantime, pirate fishers will continue to illegally plunder global fish populations. Countries can, however, immediately implement their own measures to crack down on pirate fishing by closing ports and market access to illegally-caught fish.
"Left unchecked, pirate fishing will continue to decimate those fish populations already overexploited and teetering on the brink of collapse.
"When Congress recently reauthorized the nations primary fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, it directed the U.S. government to identify pirate fishers and close ports to their ill-gotten goods. The U.S. does not have to wait, not should it, for the rest of the world to stop allowing illegally-caught seafood into the marketplace."
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Political processes/FAO / UN High Seas Processes