On June 29, 2021, the Bolivian government signed a Memo of Understanding (MoU) with the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI). The collaborative effort is aimed at increasing transparency, compliance, and knowledge in the fishing industry.
The joint agreement supports Bolivia’s fishing industry by helping the country develop knowledge on international transparency requirements, identifying responsibilities, and offering recommendations to increase transparency in managing Bolivia’s vessel registry.
Bolivia’s signing the MoU demonstrates its commitment to ocean sustainability and environmental sustainability as a whole. The FiTI press release noted that the oceans are at an increased risk as they face climate change, pollution, and overfishing. “These challenges are not only a major concern for coastal countries, but for humanity as a whole,” the press release continued.
“The collaboration with the Bolivian government is clearly unique, due to the country’s status as a landlocked state. Yet, in its capacity as a flag State, which includes a registry of international fishing vessels, Bolivia assumes important rights as well as obligations towards the sustainable management of fisheries,” the FiTI state in their press release.
In the MoU signing ceremony, the Minister of Justice and Institutional Transparency, Dr. Ivan Lima Magne, said that he is grateful to start the joint effort with FiTI and noted that “Bolivia is committed to the use of its flag under principles of transparency to support sustainable fisheries,” FiTI director also said that Bolivia is the first landlocked and Latin American country to form a partnership with FiTI. Bolivia is also the third country to sign the agreement. The other two countries are Cabo Verde and Senegal.
FiTI was founded in 2017 to create greater sustainability in the world’s fisheries by increasing governmental transparency through multi-stakeholder collaboration. The FiTI also lays out a ‘FiTI Standards,’ a framework of expectations for countries to follow regarding transparency for fishery management. The organization was developed with several entities, including civil society and intergovernmental organizations, as well as government representatives from fishing nations, industrial and artisanal fishing entities.
The July issue of the IELR will have a more comprehensive discussion of this topic.