First UN illegal fishing treaty finalized

On September 1, 2009, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced that a group of 91 countries had reached an agreement on the final text of the first treaty to combat illegal fishing. The Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing [PDF] aims to prevent illegally caught fish from entering international markets. Once ratified, the treaty will require foreign vessels to have special docking permission, countries to conduct regular inspections and the creation of information sharing networks. The treaty was later approved by the FAO Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters and the FAO Council, followed by the FAO Conference in November 2009. The treaty is now open for signature and will take effect once 25 countries ratify it.

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