Whitefish landing at a port. (Photo: Peter Johnson/Copyright: FIS)
NEAFC expands scope of Port State Control system
Monday, July 06, 2015, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) is expanding the scope of its Port State Control system to include control of all fish products.
For almost a decade, the system has applied to all landings of frozen fish products by foreign vessels. The flag State of the vessel that caught the fish being landed has to certify that the vessel was authorised and had the quota available, before the port State authorises the landing. The port State is also obligated to carry out inspections of a minimum proportion of the landings.
The system has helped port States ensure that their ports are not being used to support illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. It has also helped flag States ensure that their vessels are not landing catches without having them properly registered and counted against any applicable quotas.
The system has been considered to be very successful as a tool in the fight against IUU fisheries, and NEAFC is generally recognised as being a leader in combating such activities.
The expansion of the scope of NEAFC's Port State Control system means the it is no longer limited to landings of frozen products, but also applies to any use of ports by foreign vessels carrying fresh fish and their products.
The system has thereby become a comprehensive system of Port State Control, and should therefore serve even better its purpose of being an important tool in the international fight against IUU fisheries.
The scope is also being expanded to ensure that the system is aligned with the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement. However, the NEAFC system will continue to go well beyond the minimum requirements of the FAO Agreement in several areas.
The North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission is a regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO), which has the international legal mandate to regulate fisheries in the high seas of the North East Atlantic. NEAFC’s Contracting Parties are Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation.