Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) meeting on May 8-12 in Kuta, Bali, agreed on several important points, including expanding inspections of fishing vessels to eradicate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU Fishing).

"FAO is working with countries and regional fisheries management organizations to combat illegal fishing by reviewing national legislation and identifying ways to strengthen their institutional capacity," Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of FAO Manuel Barange stated in Kuta, Bali, Saturday.

His side also helps to improve the monitoring and surveillance system, so that all parties can effectively implement the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) or port state actions and other international instruments to promote sustainable fisheries.

In addition to expanding fishing vessel inspections, the meeting agreed on the global exchange of information systems (GIES), which is a digital system developed by FAO, and increasing the capacity of developing countries.

Several country representatives also endorsed strategies to improve compliance with PSMA.

PSMA is the first binding international treaty designed to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing by stopping foreign vessels involved from using ports, landing their catch, or even denying them entry.

PSMA is a key instrument to block fish products originating from IUU fishing practices from entering the international market.

So far, 75 countries, including the European Union (EU), have complied with PSMA that represents 59 percent of port countries globally.

At the meeting in Bali, Timor-Leste was the last country in the agreement to comply with PSMA last month.

Meanwhile, Head of the Global and Regional Fisheries Process Team and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division of FAO Matthew Camille highlighted that the Global Information Exchange System (GIES) plays a crucial role in supporting the implementation of PSMA.

The GIES is a global system for sharing important information, including inspection reports and actions taken against foreign fishing vessels involved in IUU fishing.

"We need simplified information exchange and digitization for PSMA to be able to fight IUU fishing effectively," he affirmed.

During the meeting in Bali, several countries pledged support for a global capacity-building program, which to date has supported over 50 developing countries in increasing their capacity to combat illegal fishing.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut Sudiarta, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Sri Haryati
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