FISH-i Africa, a partnership of eight East African countries, received the Seafood Champion Award for Innovation today at the opening reception of the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle. The annual Seafood Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations for excellence in promoting ocean health and environmentally responsible seafood with honours in four categories: innovation, leadership, vision and advocacy. FISH-i Africa earned the top award in the innovation category for sharing information and taking collective enforcement action to combat large-scale illegal fishing. Its string of investigations and prosecutions has created a strong deterrence to illegal activity and promoted legitimate operators.
“This is true innovation and proof that collaboration is key to success—fish do not respect boundaries,” said judge Momo Kochen, director of programs and science for MDPI, Indonesia. “I hope the FISH-i template will be used in other places also.”
FISH-i Africa is a pioneering endeavour that unites eight East African coastal countries - Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania – to share information and cooperate closely to tackle illegal fishing in their waters. The initiative is supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and a Coordination Team made up of Stop Illegal Fishing, NFDS and TMT. The Task Force model has also been replicated and adapted to the Gulf of Guinea region, where the six countries of the FCWC – Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria – have established the West Africa Task Force, with support from Norad.
For more information on the Seafood Champion Award win and FISH-i Africa see here