Cape Verde joined the Port State Measures Agreement today, as President Jorge Carlos Fonseca personally delivered his country's ratification papers for the treaty to FAO in a visit to Rome.
FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva lauded that as "excellent news" and invited the head of state to a forthcoming event in Rome to celebrate the first international treaty to focus specifically on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
"Cape Verde is acting responsibly and joining the international community's effort, led by the United Nations and FAO, to combat practices that limit sustainable access to resources that are important not only to the whole world but in particular to our island country," said Mr. Fonseca.
As many as 60 countries that are signatories to t the PSMA will be at the special event when the Committee on Fisheries begins its 32nd session at FAO's headquarters on July 11, he said. FAO drafted the treaty and began shepherding its adoption in 2009.
The PSMA, which requires all fishing vessels to allow inspectors aboard when they stop in foreign ports, went into legal force earlier this month after more than 25 countries – ranging from Cuba and the United States of America to Mozambique and the European Union acting on behalf of its 28 members - deposited their instruments of adherence.
Graziano da Silva signalled FAO's willingness to support Cabo Verde's fisheries sector, saying the agency's collaboration with the country is "very progress". Current projects include initiatives to tackle desertification, bolster reforestation efforts and to promote marine resources management and the Blue Economy.
Help with containing zika
Graziano da Silva also offered FAO's technical assistance in the effort to contain Zika, a mosquito-borne disease that has been detected in the country, where a humid and warm climate is ideal for the insects' proliferation.
"FAO is responsible for prevention, not for the disease itself," he said. "Prevention is fundamental," he said, adding that using insecticides in urban areas may not be enough to eradicate the mosquitos.
FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency have a joint program to support member countries in insect pest control which has developed a technique of using sterile insects to combat such disease vectors.