The new report The West Africa Task Force: Cooperation. Collaboration. Communication provides an insight into the establishment and operation of the West Africa Task Force.
Established in 2015, the WATF brings together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo – to tackle illegal fishing and stop the trade in illegally caught fish.
Through the routine sharing and cross checking of information, analysis of vessel tracking information and through capacity building, the WATF has engaged in a range of activities and investigations. The report also highlights some of the enforcement actions, investigations and reforms that demonstrate the growing cooperation between Member Countries, and within the inter-agency National Working Groups that have been established at the national level.
Seraphin Dedi Nadje, Secretary General of the FCWC
"Using our Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication approach, the West Africa Task Force has made significant progress in the fight against illegal fishing in the FCWC region during the three years of its activity. This has been made possible through the hard work and contributions of partners, the technical team and members of the Task Force. We, therefore, look forward to further collaborations to ensure the continued success of the FCWC and the WATF.”
Duncan Copeland, Trygg Mat Tracking
“The positive effects of the WATF are being felt throughout the region as communication has improved, new cooperation has been established nationally, regionally and internationally, the collaborative approach is focusing effort and energy, and capacity building is improving interventions.”
Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing
“The WATF has been based on the same principles of regional cooperation and information sharing that has proved so successful for the FISH-i Africa Task Force in the Western Indian Ocean. The FCWC region is a significant importer, exporter and processor of fish so stopping illegal fishing requires an additional focus on the processing, trade and transportation of fish in and out of the region.”
Per Erik Bergh, NFDS Africa
“The increase in interagency cooperation that has taken place through the establishment of National Working Groups has been significant. By bringing the key players together, raising awareness and establishing communication channels much has been achieved.”
The West Africa Task Force brings together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo – to tackle illegal fishing and stop the trade in illegally caught fish. The Task Force is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT), Stop Illegal Fishing and NFDS, with funding from Norad and NOAA.
Full report in English here
Full report in French here