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Report of the Expert Consultation on Fishing Vessels Operating under Open Registries and their Impact on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Miami, Florida, United States of America, 23 – 25 September 2003.











FAO. Report of the Expert Consultation on Fishing Vessels Operating under Open Registries and their Impact on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Miami, Florida, United States of America, 23 – 25 September 2003. FAO Fisheries Report. No 722. Rome, FAO. 2004. 168p.


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    Book (series)
    Fishing vessels operating under open registers and the exercise of flag State responsibilities. Information and options. 2002
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    The number of fishing vessels operating under open registers is increasing. A related concern is to secure the effective control of fishing vessels by the flag State. This concern is evidenced by a range of post-United Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) international instruments that progressively include clearer and more thorough duties of the flag State. The purpose of this paper is to review activities relating to the fishing fleets of countries with open registries and, in par ticular, those activities that result from countries not exercising effective flag State control over those fleets. It is based on information available in the public domain and communications with officials in States, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations and international organizations and agencies. The current interpretation of the provision on the need for a “genuine link” between a ship and its flag is to secure more effective implementation of the duties of the flag State. An ai m of this paper is to report on how and where this is being achieved. Flag State responsibilities in relation to fishing vessels are reviewed as they appear in the recent international instruments: the 1982 Convention, the FAO Compliance Agreement, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. The rationale for maintaining or using open reg istries is discussed from the point of view of the open registry State, the shipowner and the fishing vessel owner. National policy, legislation and administrative arrangements for open registers is explained. The varying degrees of control and compliance implemented by the flag State is noted, and the effect of this on fishing fleets flying its flag is observed.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Report of the second meeting of the regional working group on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Barbados, 19–21 September 2017. Informe de la segunda reunión del grupo de trabajo regional sobre la pesca ilegal, no declarada, no reglamentada (INDNR), Barbados 19-21 de septiembre de 2017. 2018
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    The 2nd meeting of the Regional Working Group on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, was held in Barbados in the period 19 - 21 September 2017. Thirty-five fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) officers, fisheries managers and other experts from 16 WECAFC members participated in this meeting. At the meeting, the MCS officers were updated on the International Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing (IPOAIUU), the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels, and specific measures needed in the Caribbean region to effectively reduce IUU fishing. This technical meeting also discussed and agreed on various essential fisheries management measures, such as on fishing vessel marking and identification, the establishment of a regional fishing vessel record and regional IUU vessel lists. These measures will, once adopted by WECAFC allow the fisheries inspectors, coast guard, navy and port officials to easily identify fishing vessels and see if the vessels have the necessary authorizations to fish.

    Este es el informe de la 2ª reunión del Grupo de Trabajo Regional sobre la Pesca Ilegal No, Declarada y no Reglamentada, realizado en Barbados, el 19, 20 y 21 de septiembre de 2017. La reunión sirvió como la 2ª reunión del Grupo de Trabajo sobre la Pesca Ilegal, No Documentada, y No Reglamentada de la Comisión de Pesca para el Atlántico Centro Occidental (COPACO), el Mecanismo Regional de Pesca del Caribe (CRFM), la Organización del Sector Pesquero y Acuícola del Istmo Centroamericano (OSPESCA). Expertos de 16 países de la COPACO, e igualmente, expertos internacionales participaron de TM Tracking. Personal y personas de apoyo de la FAO también contribuyeron a la reunión. La participación en la reunión estuvo limitada por los dos huracanes de categoría 5, Irma y María, que afectaron varios países del Caribe, e igualmente a la Florida en las semanas anteriores a la reunión, e hizo que viajar a la reunión desde algunas de las islas, fuera imposible. El Grupo de Trabajo les deseó a los países que no pudieron asistir, una recuperación exitosa de la devastación que los afectó. Esta reunión fue posible por el generoso apoyo financiero recibido de parte de la DG Mare de la Unión Europea. Apoyo adicional fue recibido del Fondo del Proyecto GCP/SLC/001/WBK – Picudos del Caribe, coordinado por el Banco Mundial, financiado por el GEF, e implementado por la FAO y la COPACO. El Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación, Pesca, y Manejo de Recursos Acuáticos del Gobierno de Barbados fue también co-anfitrión de esta reunión.

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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing 2024
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    Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems because it undermines national and regional fisheries conservation and management efforts. It also jeopardizes livelihoods, exacerbates poverty, and increases food insecurity. The FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), in force since 2016, is the first binding international agreement targeting IUU fishing practices. Its objective is to combat IUU fishing by preventing vessels engaged in such activities from using ports and landing their catches. To support its implementation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has established auxiliary tools like the PSMA Global Information Exchange System. This system allows countries to upload inspection data under the PSMA and create a track record for each vessel, thus providing crucial intelligence in the fight against IUU fishing. FAO has assisted Ecuadorian authorities since 2019 to strengthen their policies and regulations to combat IUU fishing. It has also assisted Guinea in improving its ability to fulfil its flag, port, coastal and market State responsibilities in line with its commitments as a Party to the PSMA and complementary international instruments. A policy and strategy for fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance, prepared by FAO and the Mozambique government, became law in 2023.

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