Lagos — In a bid prevent unreported, unregulated and illegal fishing activities in Nigeria’s territorial and coastal waters, the Federal Government has concluded plans to ratify the Port State Measure Agreement, PSMA.
Speaking to Sweetcrudereports Maritime Report on the sideline of the recently concluded Stockfish Seminar organized by the Norwegian Seafood Council Lagos, Mr. Paul Okuma, Head of Lagos office of the Department of Fisheries said that if and when the agreement is finally ratified, it will make all Nigerian seaports to be properly regulated.
Okuma also said that the main objective of the agreement to ensure fishes caught illegally are not brought to ports of members states and not make Nigerian ports a dumping ground for illegal fishing.
He explained that more that two third of the world’s littoral states have signed the agreement adding that it will be in Nigeria’s interest to ratify the agreement.
He said; “The agreement if ratified will make fishing in Nigeria to cost effective, ensures that Nigerian is not made a dumping ground for illegal fish import just as it will assist in regulating port activities.
“It will also ensure that only authorized fishing vessels are allowed to discharge their catch and this will also enhance government revenue.
The Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) is the first binding international agreement to specifically target illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Its objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing by preventing vessels engaged in IUU fishing from using ports and landing their catches.
The PSMA entered into force in June 2016. By the first year and a half, more than a third of countries were Parties to it.
The PSMA applies to fishing vessels seeking entry into a port other than those of their own State.
One in every five fish caught around the world every year is thought to originate from IUU fishing, valued at $10 – $23 billion annually. Implementing the PSMA is one of the most cost-effective means to curb IUU fishing.
Besides moves to ratify the PSMA Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, Convention, Nigeria is also putting strategic measures in place to curb unregulated fishing in its waters.