Bali (ANTARA) - United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO's) Director General, Qu Dongyu, officially opened the 4th meeting of the Parties to the FAO Agreement on Port State Measure (PSMA) scheduled on May 8-12 in Bali on Monday.

The PSMA is the first binding international agreement between port countries aimed at preventing, deterring, and eradicating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing).

The agreement specifically aims to prevent vessels conducting IUU fishing from accessing ports, thereby blocking the catch from entering the market.

“Sustainable capture fisheries and sustainable aquaculture have great potential to feed and nourish the world’s growing population and the increasing demand for healthy aquatic foods,” Dongyu noted in a video message at the opening of the PSMA meeting.

He explained that PSMA could support the transformation of sustainable fisheries worldwide.

"We need to continue to boost our collective efforts to create truly sustainable fisheries,” he emphasized.

Dongyu cautioned that illegal fishing had become a threat to the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources and ecosystems and to the livelihoods of 600 million people that depend on them.

Along with Dongyu, the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, and FAO Representative in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Rajendra Aryal, also inaugurated the event.

Trenggono reiterated Indonesia's commitment to eliminating IUU fishing practices.

"Indonesia commits to creating healthy and sustainable oceans as well as eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices and intensifying law enforcement,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Aryal highlighted Indonesia as one of the original signatories of the PSMA in November 2009.

“Over the years, FAO has worked in close partnership with the Government of Indonesia and other states in the Asia-Pacific Region in developing and managing the fisheries and aquaculture sectors while also responding to emergencies impacting these sectors," he stated.

Aryal said key issues, including a strategy to increase the effectiveness of PSMA and Global Information Exchange System (GIES), are expected to be discussed at this meeting.

GIES is an information technology tool developed by FAO upon the request of PSMA parties to share information on port state measures and the capacity development needs of developing states in combating IUU fishing.

The fourth meeting in Bali was attended by over 200 delegates from across the world along with representatives of intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations.

The PSMA meeting is held every two years, and this year, Indonesia is the host.

So far, PSMA has 75 parties, including the European Union on behalf of its member states.

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Reporter: Asri Mayang Sari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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