Meeting of the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network, including over 20 countries, in Valparaíso. (Photo: Sernapesca)
About twenty countries discuss fight against illegal fishing
Thursday, March 29, 2012, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
The 11th meeting of the Management Committee of the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network (IMCSN) has convened delegations from over 20 countries in Valparaíso to seek solutions to combat illegal fishing.
The organization, which was boosted by the National Fisheries Service in 2000, seeks to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the world and is recognized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
One of the objectives of the meeting this year is to define strategies for the incorporation of new countries, especially from those under-represented regions, taking into account that IMCS Network has over 80 affiliated countries.
Michele Kuruc, interim president of the Committee, said during his opening speech that "illegal fishing represents a business worth billions of dollars around the world, and this is only in the economic aspect because it also infers severe damage to the ecosystem as well as to the coastal communities associated with it."
Therefore, one of the purposes of the international meeting is to define a strategic plan to enable member countries to improve the spread of this issue and to raise the awareness of both authorities and the public on its importance. Through this effort, better international policies, further research and greater resources are sought to combat and eradicate illegal fishing.
Meanwhile, Ana Maria Urrutia, National Director of Fisheries in Chile, highlighted the achievements of the Monitoring Network since its creation, 12 years ago.
Among other things, she mentioned the issuing of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, accepted by most countries; the International Plan of Action and the Binding Agreement on Port State Control, which in the case of Chile has become a national law.
Finally, Urrutia stressed that success in the fight against illegal fishing "can not be achieved by acting alone but it requires an association of nations wishing to maintain a strong and united international front."
The meeting being held in Valparaíso includes, among other activities, the discussion on the strategic plan for the following years, the exchange of local experiences in the respective countries in combating illegal fishing and the election of the new Board of IMCSN Management Committee.
By Silvina Corniola