According to the Paris Memorandum of Understanding, there has recently been increased attention to fishing vessel safety, pollution prevention, and working and living conditions on board fishing vessels. Hence, the implementation of port state control on fishing vessels has also been of interest.
The conventions applicable to fishing vessels already allow port state control authorities to inspect fishing vessels operating internationally. This is what a very large number of members of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding do.
Given the statistics of incidents involving fishing vessels, as well as the increasing regulation of fishing vessels, the Paris Memorandum of Understanding is conducting a pilot trial to assess whether it could be value-added to implement a coordinated approach to port state control on fishing vessels operating internationally.
Through this message we would like to inform you about this pilot. The pilot project will be implemented in 2024 and 2025 and will target internationally operating fishing vessels of 24 meters and above.
.. Paris Memorandum of Understanding.
Although the Paris MoU as an organization initiated this pilot project, a limited number of Paris MoU members are participating in the pilot project: Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
However, it should be noted that, as mentioned previously, any member body of the Paris Memorandum currently has the possibility and right to inspect fishing vessels visiting its ports. It just means that if any member other than a participant in the guide inspects a fishing vessel, the results will not be part of the guide.
Criteria and context:
- A fishing vessel operating internationally will only be visited once a year, unless specific signals that the vessel is substandard give reason to do otherwise.
- The port state control visit is based on the rights of the port state as stipulated in international agreements over which port state control can be imposed.
- The visit is also intended to provide information and can be used to raise awareness and inform the fishing industry of the requirements of the Convention, where appropriate.
- Parties participating in the pilot program are flexible in visiting fishing vessels. No specific targeting methodology is used.
- Information gathering will cover general information, ship details and compliance at a general level with regard to safety, environmental requirements and living and working conditions applicable to existing agreements.
- Existing conventions in place that will be taken into consideration at a minimum are: SOLAS, MARPOL (Annexes I, IV, V and VI), STCW-F and ILO 188.
- In this pilot information collection project, general observations, not specifically based on Convention requirements, may also be recorded if deemed appropriate for information and evaluation purposes.
- If the Port State Control Officer (PSCO) deems it necessary to detain a fishing vessel, due to non-compliance related to agreements currently in force, the PSCO will detain the vessel based on national legislation.
- The principles applied in the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Unjustified Vessel Delay and the Code of Good Practice (attached) also apply during the pilot project.
After the trial period, a report will be submitted to the Paris MoU Port State Control Committee. The report will include an assessment, including advice, on whether there is added value in implementing a coordinated approach to port State control of fishing vessels.