Efforts to fight against illegal fishing in developing countries

'Illegal fishing is contributing to overexploitation of marine resources. Norway has some of the best managed fish stocks in the world. This is because we have good routines for controlling catches. We are now increasing our support for developing countries' efforts to combat illegal fishing,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The Government has allocated up to NOK ten million from the aid budget to fight illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. These funds are to be used to help developing countries to implement the international Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, which came into force in 2016.

This week, the countries that are party to the agreement will meet in Oslo. The objective of the meeting is to agree on rules regarding measures and reporting procedures. A total of 48 countries have ratified the agreement and a large proportion of these are developing countries. Many of them have requested transfer of expertise, training, and other forms of support.

'As a major fisheries nation, it is in our interests that the agreement is effective. We are therefore seeking to ensure that developing countries that are party to the agreement have the capacity to implement the necessary measures. The world's population is growing, and we need to be able to harvest more food from the ocean. At the same time, some of the world's fishery resources are overexploited. The measures to combat illegal fishing will help to ensure that fishery resources are managed in the best possible way,' said Mr Brende.

Among other things, Norway will support training of fisheries inspectors and key port personnel, and will assist with the development of domestic legislation and better maritime surveillance.

'Illegal fishing is theft of our common resources. It is stealing food from our dinner tables and threatening our marine resources. It also distorts competition for law-abiding actors in the fisheries sector,' commented Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg.

The Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing was negotiated under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The countries that are party to the agreement are responsible for implementing the measures, while FAO has overall responsibility for facilitating and coordinating the implementation of the agreement, and will also administer Norway's contribution.