Worldwide efforts to manage fisheries extending across national and international boundaries onto the high seas continue to be undermined by Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU). The robust implementation of port State measures (PSM) has been recognised as one of the most cost-effective means for enhancing compliance with fisheries laws and regulations.
Before the entry into force, on the 5th June 2016, of the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSM), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) at its 20th Session, moved forward by revising the IOTC Resolution 10/11 on PSM to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing. New provisions in the PSM Resolution now calls for all stakeholders (vessel representatives, port States and flag States) to utilise the electronic reporting platform (e-PSM application) during a trial period of 3 years, after which the IOTC Compliance Committee shall evaluate the success of the application.
To facilitate and strengthen the implementation of the PSM Resolution, the IOTC Secretariat has developed a web-based application, with the financial support of a grant from the World Bank Development Grant Facility (DGF) in support of in-country pilot action in support of the Global Partnership for Oceans; the fund is administered by the Indian Ocean Commission. The e-PSM application is expected to be launched in mid-2016, e-PSM national trainings have been conducted in Seychelles, France Réunion, South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Tanzania and Kenya, and at the end of September 2016 more than 100 port calls have been made through the application. The e-PSM national trainings are supported by the IOTC and the Common Oceans ABNJ Tuna Project.
The e-PSM application is a monitoring, control and surveillance web-based tool developed to assist stakeholders to implement the IOTC Port State Measures.
The application allows vessels to request entry into port electronically, via internet. The advantages of requesting entry into port through the e-PSM application are multiples:
- FASTER REQUEST: It facilitates processing of request of entry into port and the decision making process of the port State,
- PAPERLESS REQUEST: It reduces paperwork for the master of the vessel or the agent, and the port State,
- ENHANCED COMMUNICATION: It provides a direct communication platform between the master or agent of the vessel and the Competent Authority of the port State and the flag State of the vessel. It allows a port State to monitor requests of entry into port, to which it can provide a response to the vessel and implement all the steps of the PSM process while a vessel is in port: issue authorisation to enter port, request additional information, record information on port inspection, record information on landing and transhipment of vessel in port. Flag State of vessels requesting entry into foreign ports are provided with the means to follow the activity of their vessels in foreign ports.
The library part of the system, contains resources on where users can find previous inspection reports, documents (e.g. infraction reports, publications, etc.), useful internet links, information on designated ports, port State contacts and flag State contacts.
The report-building tool of the system can generate a variety of reports and statistics related to the activities of vessels in port or the level and types of activities in port, by foreign vessels.