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Implementation of Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing which support Target 14.4 and 14.6
by Ministry of Fisheries, Tonga (Government)
The FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (the Agreement) was adopted by the FAO Conference in 2009. The main purpose of the Agreement is to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through the implementation of robust port State measures. The Agreement envisages that parties, in their capacities as port States, will apply the Agreement in an effective manner to foreign vessels when seeking entry to ports or while they are in port. The application of the measures set out in the Agreement will, inter alia, contribute to harmonized port State measures, enhanced regional and international cooperation and block the flow of IUU-caught fish into national and international markets. The Agreement is binding and stipulates minimum port States measures. However, countries are free to adopt more stringent measures than those outlined in the Agreement.

Tonga has singed the Agreement and as of June 2017, 47 States or regional economic integration organisations are Parties to the PSMA, including five FFA member countries (Australia, New Zealand, Palau and Vanuatu). The PSMA complements an existing suite of measures in place internationally to combat IUU.

In order to assist FFA member countries consider their preferred way forward on the PSMA (and broader regional port state measures), FFA, with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, commissioned a gap analysis to examine the performance of FFA members existing port state controls against the PSMA and other relevant regional measures (e.g. port state controls in the FFAs Harmonised Minimum Terms and Conditions for Access by Fishing Vessels - HMTCs1; relevant WCPFC CMMs). For FFA members who have already acceded to the PSMA, including Tonga, the aim of the study was to provide information on additional measures (if any) required to achieve full implementation of the Agreement, in the context of existing MCS measures already in place.

Part of the preparation for the implementation of the PSMA, Tonga has started a monitoring program to review its legislation to facilitate and cater for the requirements of PSMA. The first review of Tonga Legislation was conducted in February 2017. A workshop will be conducted in the last part of 2017 for the Ministry of Fisheries, Government ministries and relevant stakeholders to clarify the articles in the Agreements and further understand the obligations of Tonga to the the Agreement.

The way forward in this regards will be focused on the implementation of the PSMA plus capacity building activities. The implementation of the PSMA is planned to be monitored annually.
Progress reports
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
  • Economic benefits from sustainable transport
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Ratification, accession and acceptance of UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
Management Plan
Port Inspections
In-kind contribution
Government Ministries
Staff / Technical expertise
Government staff
Basic information
Time-frame: 06/2016 - ongoing
Ministry of Fisheries (Government) United Nation Food and Agricultural Organisation (Intergovernmental Organisation) Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) (Intergovernmental Organisation) World Bank (Intergovernmental Organisation)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Fishing industry Communities Neighboring countries
Contact information
Tu'ikolongahau Halafihi, Chief Executive Offcier. , supi64t@gmail.com , +676 21399
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Other SDGs
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