Addressing the legislative gaps in the implementation of port state measures: Southeast Asian perspective
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The Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) adopted by FAO in 2009 is a legally-binding instrument for combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the world. Although only three of the Southeast Asian countries (i.e. Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand) have so far acceded to and/or ratified the PSMA, the other countries have been taking steps and making necessary preparations for ratification, notwithstanding the ongoing efforts of the countries to adopt their respective national port State measures (PSM) as means of controlling IUU fishing in their waters. In order to address some legislative gaps while some of the Southeast Asian countries are still pursuing the possible accession to and/or ratification of the PSMA, still some countries are encountering certain difficulties in implementing the PSMA. With the main objective of overcoming such constraints, this article therefore suggests possible options that could address the issues that arise from the adoption of the PSMA. Such options could include: (1) establishment and/or adjustment of specific national laws that would ensure the involvement of relevant agencies in the implementation of PSM; (2) identification of the ways and means of providing legal assistance to Southeast Asian countries to overcome certain regulatory constraints in the implementation of the PSMA; and (3) development of a model that would address the common concerns in the implementation of the PSM.