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FCWC WATF Launches Phase 3 Activities with Workshops in Nigeria

The West Africa Task Force (WATF) of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) began its Phase 3 activities in the FCWC region on 26 February to 1 March 2024 with a workshop in Lagos, Nigeria.

The “Fisheries Intelligence and Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) Support in West Africa” project which supports the WATF has been approved for a third phase by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) which has funded it since 2014.


The formalised national interagency working groups in each FCWC Member State have been a key structure of the WATF, and meet regularly in workshops to strengthen cooperation at the national level.


The two-part workshop comprised a two-day first session on 26-27 February 2024, focused on the national Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) in Lagos to assess its human, institutional and infrastructure capabilities.


TMT analysts from the WATF Technical Team and RMCSC personnel conducted the assessment with FMC personnel to identify the adequacy of the equipment, infrastructure, and utilities vital to the FMC’s effective operation; determine the current capacity of current staff and potential refresher or training courses; and understand the platforms currently in use, their functionalities, and the data available through them.


The second two-day session (28 February – 1 March) was dedicated to inter-agency cooperation and implementation of the FAO Agreement of Port State Measures (PSMA) facilitated by a team of experts from FCWC, TMT and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) through a series of plenary sessions.


This second workshop was used to provide an update on the RMCSC, to introduce the priorities of Phase 3, present the PSMA requirements and introduce the Intelligence-led fisheries ports control program (to which Nigeria is a new addition), to discuss the outcomes, gaps identified and validate the results of the study of fish imports into Nigeria.


The meeting’s participants included focal points from Nigeria’s Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF), Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Navy, Nigerian Agricultural and Quarantine Service, Nigerian Marine Police, National Central Bureau (NCB) and the Interpol Federal Ministry of Justice.


Following these workshops, a clearer picture of the FMC’s capacities have been developed, processes and national mechanisms for the implementation of the PSMA have been identified, and actions and needs towards the development of a national strategy for PSMA implementation have been agreed.



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