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St Kitts and Nevis Sign Treaty on Combatting Illegal Fishing

10 July 2015

ST KITTS and NEVIS - The government of St Kitts and Nevis has taken a big step towards fighting illegal fishing after in announced that it has ratified the 2009 Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), an international treaty to stop illegally caught fish from entering the market.

The St. Kitts and Nevis announcement follows action by Iceland, whose June ratification was just made official by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. So far, 13 governments have ratified the PSMA.

No one tactic or tool will solve the multibillion-dollar problem that illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing has become worldwide, but combined with other efforts— such as the use of affordable high-tech platforms that help authorities monitor, detect, and respond to illicit fishing activity—these port State measures will make it increasingly difficult for pirates to launder their catch where vessels land their fish.

Illegal fishing makes headlines routinely—which it should, given the extent of the problem. That said, the coverage tends to focus on criminals caught in the act. Recently, there have been more stories about how governments and industry are taking proactive steps to rid the market of illicitly caught fish.

The treaty will enter into force once 25 governments have ratified it.

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