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Identifying the World’s Busiest Ports and Why It Matters

Created on Thursday, 18 February 2016

2016.02.16_Top 100 ports blog_Wiki Commons_Philippe Ales

 

Photo credit: Wiki Commons, Philippe Ales

With the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) needing only five more ratifying countries to be entered into force, a new study commissioned by Pew highlights where this international treaty could be most effective. Ports play a major role in global seafood supply chains, as they are the first stop where seafood is landed before entering the global trade market. The PSMA requires signatory countries to exert stronger port controls over foreign flagged fishing vessels, with the goal of deterring vessels from engaging in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and ultimately preventing IUU harvested seafood from entering market channels.

The study, Fish Landings at the World’s Commercial Fishing Ports, is important because it provides a database of the top 100 international ports landing the highest volumes of commercial fish, and identifies where the resources allocated by the PSMA would be most impactful. Authorities can now utilize this database to focus efforts on ports known to be landing higher amounts of IUU seafood, and implement enhanced resources, training, and monitoring at these high-risk ports once the treaty goes into effect.

Collecting marine capture fisheries data from governments, intergovernmental organizations, and individual port authorities, the authors a developed port/province specific database based on volume of seafood landed for 47 countries, corresponding to 948 individual ports across 107 state provinces. It was found that China, Indonesia, the United States, and Peru are responsible for the largest levels of total landings on a national level, while at the port/provincial level, Peru, Russia, and Indonesia top the list. The top 20 ports* by landings are:

Rank

Port/Province

Country

Landings (metric tons)

1

Chimbote

Peru

677,753

2

Vladivostok

Russia

604,645

3

Nahodka

Russia

604,645

4

Maluku (Ambon)

Indonesia

567,953

5

Chicama

Peru

566,100

6

Chonnam

Korea, Republic of (S)

523,931

7

Callao

Peru

510,537

8

Coronel

Chile

506,866

9

Iquique

Chile

488,092

10

Paita

Peru

483,721

11

Zhejiang Province – Zhoushan City region – Putuo District

China, PR

481,017

12

Troms

Norway

474,571

13

Pisco

Peru

473,991

14

North Sumatra (Medan)

Indonesia

463,201

15

Shandong Province – Yantai City outskirts – Rongcheng City

China, PR

454,762

16

Zhejiang Province -Ningbo City region – Xiangshan County

China, PR

449,863

17

Tarawa

Kiribati

443,750

18

Zhejiang Province – Wenzhou City outskirts – Wenling City

China, PR

433,576

19

Lesund

Norway

421,237

20

Walvis Bay

Namibia

418,037

You can find a complete list of the top 100 ports here.

One of the major report findings is that ports with the highest volume of landings are located in countries that have not yet ratified the PSMA and do not have well documented port state measures in place. This highlights the pressing need for more countries to sign onto and ultimately ratify the PSMA, in order to ensure that ports landing the largest volumes of commercial products are not allowing IUU harvested seafood to enter into the market.

The United States has been a global leader in the fight against IUU fishing, establishing the Presidential Task Force on Combatting IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud in 2014 and then finalizing ratification of the PSMA in 2016. While the U.S. has ratified the PSMA, five more countries must ratify the treaty for it to go into effect. Businesses within the United States can bolster additional PSMA support by encouraging partners within their supply chains to support PSMA ratification in the countries where they are operating.

To learn more about how FishWise is working to combat IUU fishing, and what efforts you can take, visit our Traceability and IUU Fishing Resources webpage.

* Port landing data was available for all major port states except China. For China, data was only available at provincial level and not port level, despite it having the highest volume of landings worldwide.