Mozambique and Liberia cooperate in the fight against illegal fishing
Mozambique suspends the license of Spanish flagged purse seine vessel F/V DONIENE for illegal fishing in Liberia’s waters.
Proof of illegal fishing by the F/V Doniene in Liberia has been found after an inspection of the vessel was carried out by the Ministry of Fisheries in Mozambique following an excellent example of cooperation between the governments of Liberia and Mozambique.
In January 2011, the Minister of Agriculture in Liberia, the Hon. Florence A. Chenoweth declared a moratorium on large pelagic fisheries that lasted until 1st of April 2011. However, no tuna vessels have been licensed to date by the Liberian Authorities, so in September 2011, when Stop Illegal Fishing in cooperation with the TM Foundation presented evidence that suggested that a number of Spanish and French flagged tuna vessels were fishing illegally in Liberian waters, Liberia realised they needed to take action. Stop Illegal Fishing consequently briefed Mozambican authorities about the possibility of an IUU vessel coming to port in Mozambique.
The Doniene requested entry into port in Nacala, Mozambique, at the beginning of April for a pre-fishing briefing and inspection prior to receiving a fishing license under the present Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) between the European Union (EU) and Mozambique. Based upon the existing information and on-going investigations, the Minister of Agriculture in Liberia, Hon. Florence A. Chenoweth requested assistance from the Ministry of Fisheries in Mozambique, whom she asked to detain and inspect the vessel on their behalf. Copies of evidence of its illegal activities in Liberia’s waters were also included in this communication.
The Doniene was initially issued a license to fish in Mozambique’s waters pending the Spanish Government’s commitment to provide the results of its investigation to Mozambique within the set time. However, further new evidence on the case from both Liberia and Norway arose, and in consideration of this evidence and the magnitude of alleged gross illegal fishing by several Spanish vessels in Liberia’s waters, the Mozambique Ministry has suspended the fishing privileges of the Doniene effective immediately, until the case is resolved between Liberia and Spain.
The stand taken by Mozambique in carrying out the inspection in support of the investigation is a strong example of continental cooperation between two coastal countries to combat IUU fishing in Africa.
Read the article from SIF here
Read more about Illegal Fishing in Liberia here