Illegal fishing harming fish stocks – Francis Agius

Illegal fishing harming fish stocks – Francis Agius
Times of Malta – Valletta,Malta

Illegal fishing harming fish stocks – Francis Agius
The issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Mediterranean was of serious and increasing concern as such activity seriously undermined efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Francis Agius, said.

Addressing a ministerial meeting at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held in Rome yesterday, Dr Agius said existing international instruments addressing IUU fishing have not been effective due to a lack of political will, different priorities and the necessary capacity and resources to ratify or implement them.

He said Malta agreed with all the proposed measures by the European Union, the FAO, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas to combat IUU fishing.

In fact it was reviewing and revising relevant national legislation and regulations to ensure compliance with fisheries management measures and to provide sanctions for offenders.

By the end of 2005 Malta would have installed a monitoring system on all of its vessels longer than 15 metres. Since its accession into the EU, Malta has also introduced the use of catch logbooks to be used by all fishing vessels above 10 metres, he said.

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