SADC MCS Coordination Centre (MCSCC)
FISH-i Africa was a pioneering endeavour that united eight East African coastal countries to tackle illegal fishing in their waters. The Western Indian Ocean is home to plentiful fish resources that provide jobs, support local economies and represent an important food source for the region and globally. However, it is also an IUU fishing hotspot that draws illegal operators from across the globe to target the region’s rich tuna resources, which threatens economic and food security. Eight countries – Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania – joined forces to tackle this problem, and continue to do so today through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC).
Regional Cooperation in East and Southern Africa
Improving cooperation, information and intelligence sharing
2012 - 2020
FISH-i Africa was created in 2012 with the aim of improving cooperation, information and intelligence sharing between countries to take action against illegal fishing by large scale operators. The FISH-i Africa Task Force enabled authorities to identify and act through an effective information sharing and cooperation mechanism that catalyses fisheries enforcement actions in the region. FISH-i Africa was technically supported by a Coordination Team made up of Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), NFDS and TMT, who use a range of analytical tools and investigative techniques to gather and share intelligence about illegal fishing operations in the region.
Systematic compilation and sharing of information between countries was a crucial aspect of the FISH-i approach, enabling countries to benefit from intelligence provided by their neighbours and preventing known illegal operators from offending serially across the region. Operating until 2020, the FISH-i Task Force revolutionised how States in a region, actively sharing information and collaborating between themselves and with non-State actor partners, can effectively combat illegal fishing.
2020 - Present
In 2020, with the planned development of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC), it was formally decided to integrate FISH-i Africa into the MCSCC. This expands the coastal States involved to include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2023, the Charter establishing the SADC Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre was signed by the 11th Member State signatory, reaching the threshold for Charter to enter into force. The MCSCC will coordinate regional fisheries data and information sharing services, a regional fishing vessel register, provide fisheries surveillance services, coordinate fisheries observers, and support the implementation of port state measures, provide fisheries enforcement and legal support services, and support improvements in the capacity of national Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) systems.
The MCSCC is based in Maputo, hosted by the Government of Mozambique. While infrastructure and broader funding is still development, an initial MCSCC analytical team has been established. TMT and SIF continue as core members of the technical support team.
TMT's Technical Role
TMT’s technical role is to assist the MCSCC in the provision of the intelligence and analytical support that enables the Member States to detect and take action against illegal fishing in their waters and ports. Our work includes providing training to MCSCC staff, the identification and tracking of fishing vessels, analysis of fishing fleets and ownership structures, investigation of associated crimes associated with illegal fishing, supporting key functions including the development of a regional register of authorised fishing vessels, and broader support to MCSCC processes and activities.
How does it work?
SADC coastal Member States actively share information and cooperate on fisheries enforcement, supported by a technical team
Integrate satellite tracking and analysis of fishing vessel movements into MCS intelligence
Build Capacity with operational, investigate and legal support
Build cooperation with other actors and initiatives
Assess the risk of non-compliance
Publicise the actions
Conduct research and studies
Share and assess mistakes and successes