Philippines accepts international pacts to protect marine resources
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has formally accepted two international agreements that would boost efforts in ensuring sustainable management of the country’s marine resources.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) yesterday said it welcomes the Philippines’ acceptance of agreements promoting compliance of fishing vessels with international conservation efforts, as well as on promoting measures to eliminate illegal fishing.

The two agreements were approved by FAO member-states and were entered into force in 2003 and 2016, respectively.

The compliance agreement aims to enhance the role of countries and guide them in strengthening control over their vessels to ensure compliance with international conservation and management measures.

It also emphasizes that countries are responsible for ensuring that none of their vessels are fishing on the high seas unless authorized, and that they can effectively exercise their responsibilities to ensure their vessels comply with international measures. 

Meanwhile, the Port State Measures Agreement is the first binding international agreement that specifically targets illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

It lays down a minimum set of standard measures for parties to apply when foreign vessels seek entry into their ports or while they are in their ports. 

“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing continue to be a major threat to  our marine resources, as well as to the well-being and resilience of fishing communities whose livelihoods and food security depend on this vital sector,” said FAO Representative to the Philippines José Luis Fernandez.

“The effective implementation of these international instruments ultimately contributes to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems,” he added,

Fernandez said FAO stands ready to support governments, including the Philippines, in their capacity to formulate sound measures to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and promote management and development of the fisheries sector.

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