Russia takes the trouble to ratify the Agreement On Port State Measures

December 12, 2020 23:29

In early December 2020 President Vladimir Putin signed the law “On the ratification of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing”, reports

Under the PSMA, among other things, authorities at ports of entry for fish cargoes have got the right to deny any vessel access to domestic ports on the suspicion of wrongdoing, and to refuse services to vessels credibly accused of having participated in IUU fishing.

The ratification was hailed by WWF but it will mean a lot of extra work for the government and more red tape for the fishermen. But, obviously, the government feels the advantages for the health of the fish stocks are worth the trouble.

In accordance with the Agreement, Russia will have to determine the list of ports within the country where foreign fishing vessels will be allowed to enter. The agreement also imposes requirements for their thorough inspection, control of documentation and fishing gear.

On the other hand, according to WWF, Russian fishing vessels are required to unload and transship fish products only in the ports of those foreign countries (even yet to ratify the Agreement) who ensure compliance with the procedures provided for by this international Treaty. Any operations related to the turnover of fish products carried out by vessels under the national flag in other ports should be equated to IUU fishing with the corresponding consequences.

The next step for Russia in the fight against poaching in the EEZ may be to update the National plan to counter IUU fishing. WWF supports the proposal to include in the new Plan such measures as direct weighing of catches onboard large fishing vessels, approval of documents to ensure the rights and obligations of observers onboard, and improvement of fishing gear to reduce by-catch and fish discards etc.

Earlier Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries and the Russian Office of WWF signed a co-operation agreement to help conserve the fish stocks.

Along these lines, voluntary certification for national eco label is also being discussed by the Russian fishermen.

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