FIJI: The Fiji government has agreed to sign up to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) treaty aiming to prevent, deter and stop illegal fishing by implementing efficient port state measures.
From Fisheries Ministry it is explained that the goal of this commitment is to ensure a substantial amount of revenue is not lost and the livelihood of Fijians in coastal areas are unaffected.
The treaty, known as Port State Measures, determines that Fiji will have to implement measures in their ports to detect illegal fishing, stop the landing and the sale of illegally caught fish and ensure the information on unscrupulous vessels is shared worldwide.
Fisheries Officer Meli Raicebe points out they guarantee control over the work done to eliminate the negative environmental, economic and social consequences of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Foreign fishing vessels would have to request permission to enter Fiji's ports and transmit detailed information about their identities, activities and the fish they have onboard.
The Fiji government said signing the treaty would strengthen the region's ability to exclude illegal vessels from visiting vulnerable nations with small administrations.
Fiji will be the sixth member of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency to sign up.
The other Pacific island countries which are parties to the agreement are Palau, Tonga and Vanuatu.