BRUSSELS, 3rd June, 2016 (WAM) – On 5 June, the Port State Measures Agreement, a key international treaty aimed at combating illegal fishing, will come into force. The Agreement, adopted and promoted by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, allows countries to keep illegal operators out of their ports and to prevent them from landing illegal catches.

EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement: “We now have a powerful instrument that will help fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing at European and at global level. This is a significant improvement to international ocean governance. The EU has always played a leading role in the fight against IUU fishing activities and was among the first to approve this major international agreement already in 2011 We need to make sure that all coastal states have the means to effectively implement the Port State Measures Agreement. The fight against illegal fishing has become global and perpetrators will soon have nowhere to hide.”

WAM/tfaham