PNG Signs Port State Measures Agreement

Thursday 2 May 2024

Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon. Jelta Wong  and Mr. Maurizo Martina, Deputy Director-General of FAO in Rome. (photo: Fisheries Ministry).

Papua New Guinea has taken a momentous step in its commitment to the global fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing through its recent accession to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA). 

Papua New Guinea submitted its instrument to Accession on the 7th March 2024 through the Embassy in Brussels to the FAO as depository.

 It became the 78th States Pary to the Agreement upon the entry into force of the agreement for Papua New Guinea on 6 April  2024, thirty (30) days after the submission of the instrument.

The PSMA is an international agreement formulated primarily for the prevention, deterrence and elimination of IUU fishing.

It closes ports from IUU vessels and prevents all catches from IUU fishing from entering the international market.

As a state party, Papua New Guinea is empowered as a Port State to impose specific measures and to carry out inspection of equipment, documentation, catches and the ships’ log within the provisions of the Agreement on foreign flagged fishing vessels seeking entry into our designated ports.

This is to ensure that all catches landing or processed in PNG are legally caught and there is full compliance with conservation regimes and sustainable fishing practices. It accords PNG the full right to refuse entry into its ports for any fishing vessel that is suspected or is involved in IUU fishing.

In his recent discussions with Mr. Maurizo Martina, Deputy Director-General of FAO in Rome, the Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon. Jelta Wong reaffirmed PNG’s commitment to the protection of its environment and the sustainable use of its natural resources, including fish, marine resources and ecosystems.

Minister Wong stated that Papua New Guinea was a major exporter of Marine resources to the global market and in 2023 the total value of exports with a value of over K1.2 billion in exports in 2023.

 He outlined the importance of the fisheries sector to the PNG economy as a major contributor to foreign direct investment and the employment of well over 15000 people.

The minister said the conservation and sustainable management and use of fishery resources and marine life and ecosystems was an important agenda of the Marape-Rosso Government.

In response, Deputy Director-General Martina congratulated Minister Wong and PNG for its accession to the PSMA. He reiterated that the practical implementation and application of the agreement will contribute to the protection, conservation and long-term sustainable use of living marine resources and ecosystems.

It will also strengthen PNG’s efforts to protect its fisheries and marine resources and underpin economic and environmental sustainability.

The Deputy Director-General also commended PNG for the significant investment in its Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) space and expressed confidence in PNG’s ability to develop and implement the measures under PSMA.

In reiterating PNG’s commitment to fully implement the PSMA, Minister Wong highlighted the need for closer collaboration with the FAO.

He requested FAO to provide technical assistance to PNG to elevate its capacity in terms of personnel, appropriate infrastructure and systems to be able to fully and effectively implement the PSMA.

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