The Ministry of Agriculture is collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a strategy and action plan for compliance with the 2009 FAO agreement on port state measures. These measures are to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
A five-day workshop at the Fort Young Hotel which began on Monday February 13th will facilitate discussions aimed at improving the management of Dominica’s fishing borders. On May 6, 2016 Dominica acceded to the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement. The agreement came into effect on June 5th 2016.
Hon Minister For Fisheries, Johnson Drigo, addressed the opening ceremony saying “Dominica took this bold step to globally declare its intention and let other like-minded countries as well as would-be perpetrators know that we stand on the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”
He explained, “The main objective of the agreement is to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by implementing robust control measures at national ports of entry.” Hon Drigo said further that the measures will be applied to foreign fishing vessels who illegally catch fish and seek to enter Dominica’s ports to sell.
FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Officer, Raymon Van Anronny, explained the importance of the implementation of this strategy for Dominica and the Caribbean.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to be a threat to the effective conservation and management of fishing resources in the Caribbean region despite the many efforts by governments and other stakeholders. Because of IUU fishing, the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica is failing to achieve the nationally agreed fisheries management goals and objectives. If IUU fishing is not dealt with, it can lead to the collapse of a fishery or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that have already been depleted,” he said.
FAO representatives are facilitating the five-day workshop attended by representatives of the fisheries and forestry division, customs and the Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority among others.