RFP - For a consultancy study on a gap analysis of port state measures for FFA member countries
Proposals are sought for a GAP analysis consultancy study of Port State Measures for FFA member countries. All proposal bids are to be made in USD, with the deadline for submission being 5pm on Friday 15th July.
Please find all details in the attached, including the background, below:
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major contributor to declining fish stocks and marine habitat destruction. Globally, IUU fishing takes many forms both within nationally-controlled waters and on the high seas. While it is not known for sure how much IUU fishing is taking place, some estimates indicate that IUU fishing accounts for about 30 per cent of all fishing activity worldwide.
The Pacific Ocean is home to some of the world’s most abundant populations of tuna species such as albacore, skipjack and yellowfin, and to billfish species such as marlin and swordfish. Previously published IUU loss estimates for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), an international fisheries agreement that seeks to ensure, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks (i.e. tunas, billfish, marlin) in the western and central Pacific Ocean region, are somewhere in the region of 517.91 million to 740.17 million US dollars a year.
One cost-effective tool that helps to combat IUU fishing is sound port State measures (PSMs). PSMs are requirements or interventions undertaken by port States by which foreign fishing vessels must comply with or are subjected to as a condition for use of ports within the port State. If implemented effectively, PSMs can prevent IUU-caught fish from entering into national and international markets.
The importance of strong port State measures as a tool to combat IUU fishing has increasingly gained ground in the past decade. In 2009, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) was adopted and opened for signature. The PSMA is a legally binding instrument that seeks to combat IUU fishing by having harmonized port State measures implemented globally and enhance regional and international cooperation and information exchange. The agreement entered into force on 05 June 2016 with a total of 30 parties including five FFA members: Tonga, Vanuatu, Palau, New Zealand and Australia.
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) was established to help countries sustainably manage their fishery resources that fall within their 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA is an advisory body providing expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management through agencies such as the WCPFC.
FFA developed Harmonized Minimum Terms and Conditions for Fishing Access (HMTCs) in the early 1980s in response to a need for a coordinated approach by FFA Members in providing access to fishing within their respective EEZs by foreign-flagged fishing vessels. The HMTCs represent a key strategic tool for FFA Members not just in dealing with Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN) access into their waters. They also play a role in strengthening in-zone measures so that the WCPFC adopts compatible measures for the high seas.
The HMTCs contain several port State control provisions which apply to all foreign fishing vessels while in FFA member ports, whether the vessels are licensed to fish within FFA member’s waters or not. The HMTCs are not self-executing and do not automatically apply to foreign fishing vessels. They must be incorporated into FFA members’ national laws or regulatory framework to carry the necessary authority over foreign fishing vessels operating in their waters. As legal requirements, this ensures their indisputable and uniform application to foreign fishing vessels.
Recently, there has been a push for States to ratify the PSMA, including by some FFA members. The FFA Secretariat stands ready to provide support to any member that wishes to strengthen their PSM. To this end, there is value in conducting a gap analysis study that compares the port state control provisions between the following: national practice, FFA HMTCs, FFA member domestic implementation of the FFA’s HMTCs, and WCPFC Conservation and Management Measures (CMMs) with port state control provisions with the FAO PSMA which constitutes the new international minimum standard on this matter. This exercise will serve to inform FFA members precisely where possible gaps exist within the both individual and collective regional FFA member port state control framework and where improvements could be made in the different applicable schemes. The results of the study could then be used by interested FFA members as a detailed road map to assist them with implementing the requirements of the PSMA.
The analysis should clearly and concisely describe the FFA HMTCs and WCPFC CMMs with port state control provisions, analyse whether the two frameworks are fully implemented within FFA members’ national legislation, identifying any gaps, and as a further step compare these regional frameworks to that of the PSMA, highlighting where gaps in regulation and implementation occur.
Essentially, the analysis should determine how FFA member states fare with implementing obligations found under both the FFA’s HMTCs and WCPFC CMMs with port state control provisions, and how these obligations, as well as other relevant existing FFA member domestic port state control legislation, fare against the obligations outlined in the PSMA. The analysis should clearly indicate where there are gaps and provide a road map towards implementation of the requirements of the PSMA.
After an initial review and consultation with the FFA, analysis will include in-country assessments of selected FFA members to determine the current state of implementation of the HMTCs, WCPFC CMMs with port state control provisions, and FFA member domestic legislations pertaining to port State measures and determine what improvements or modifications would have to be made if the State were to implement the obligations of the PSMA.