July 2018 — Sandy Davies (Technical Director), Sally Frankcom (Communications Officer) and Mathew Markides (Research Assistant) attended the 33rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI33) at the FAO Headquarters in Rome Italy from 9-12th July 2018.
Sandy Davies, on behalf of Stop Illegal Fishing, was supporting the coordination of the ‘African Voice’ in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency and AU-IBAR to develop common positions amongst African delegations to strengthen representation. Topics under discussion included aquaculture, trade, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, small-scale fisheries, and the Multi-year Programme of Work of the Committee.
Measures available to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and address human trafficking and safety on fishing vessels such as the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, the ILO Working in Fishing Convention (C188) and the IMO Cape Town Agreement were discussed. Ms Davies commented, ‘we have seen strong support for the PSMA amongst African nations who recognise the need to stop illegally caught fish being landed in their ports. We hope that the collaboration between the ILO, IMO and FAO will see similar support for international measures to prevent some of the worst abuses that are directly affecting people working in the fishing industry. Ratification of the Cape Town Agreement and ILO Working in Fishing Convention would be welcomed as first steps to protect fishers.’
Public access to the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, which aims to increase identification of fishing vessels, was launched at COFI33 and can be accessed at http://www.fao.org/global-record/tool/extended-search/en/.