(ZIZ News) Two instruments of accession to two important international fisheries agreements were, on Monday, signed by the Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources & Cooperatives, Hon. Eugene Hamilton.
The two instruments are the U.N. Fish Stocks Agreement and the Post State Measure Agreement.
Director of Marine Resources Marc Williams said these instruments will reinforce the commitment of St Kitts and Nevis to meet international standards for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems.
“The workshop on Port State Measures is very significant. It is the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis telling the world, that we do not support IUU fishing which is Illegal, Unrecorded and Unregulated Fishing,” he said.
The UN Fish Stocks Agreement or UNFSA ensures long-term conservation and sustainable use of fish stocks, while avoiding the undermining of conservation and management measures adopted by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOS) for the High Seas.
The Post State Measures Agreement aims to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing through its implementation, as explained by FAO representative, Raymon Van Anrooy.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, so called IUU fishing continues to be a threat to effective conservation and management of fisheries throughout the world but also in the Caribbean region, despite many efforts by governments and other stakeholders. Because of IUU fishing the Department of Marine Resources of SKN is failing to achieve the nationally agreed fisheries management goals and objectives,” he said.
Van Anrooy said the agreement aims to prevent IUU-caught fish from entering international markets through the implementation of harmonized measures by countries and through Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOS).
He said this would remove the incentive to engage in IUU fishing.
“IUU fishing leads to both the short and long term social and economic opportunities that have negative effects on food security and environmental protection. If IUU fishing is not dealt with it can lead to the collapse of the fisheries or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that are already depleted,” he said.
The agreement also applies to foreign-flagged fishing vessels, carriers, transport and supply vessels that carry out fishing related activities.