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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 40627, tabled on 14 June 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to (a) ratify the Cape Town agreement and (b) otherwise tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the High Seas.

Answered on

29 June 2016

The UK supports ratification of the Cape Town agreement and will ratify when legal priorities allow, which is a matter for the Department of Transport. The UK already applies the 1993 Torremolinos Protocol relating to the Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels through the Fishing Vessels (EC Directive on Harmonised Safety Regime) Regulations 1999.

The UK Government, through the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), has been at the forefront of international measures to tackle Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, which remains a major threat, not just to the world’s fish stocks, but to its marine biodiversity and the livelihoods and security of coastal communities. The UK acts, alongside other European Union nations, to deny market access to products from IUU fishing, and to support third countries in developing their capability to detect and deter IUU fishing. Ground breaking work has also recently taken place between the MMO and UK based insurance companies to promote and encourage compliance with IUU regulations.