Lagos, March 2023 An MCS inter-agency workshop was held from 20th-23rd March in Lagos Nigeria convened all national agencies coordinating national efforts towards preventing, deterring, and eliminating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing across the country and the region as a whole.
Convened under the FCWC West Africa Task Force, the stakeholders included representatives from the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Authority and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Navy, and Nigerian Customs services, and members of the Technical Team from the FCWC, Stop Illegal Fishing and TMT.
The workshop provided an opportunity for the FDF to update partner agencies on the status of fisheries management activities in Nigeria and identify areas where inter-agency cooperation, communication and collaboration on fisheries enforcement could be improved.
Discussions from the workshop included particular focus on the status of inter-agency cooperation toward the implementation of key processes and legal frameworks, including the recently ratified Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).
A core focus of the meeting was to review the research report compiled by the Technical Team on Nigerian seafood import processes and IUUF risk. As the largest importer of seafood in the region, Nigeria is aiming to ensure that it does not become a target market for illegal seafood. The study outcomes presented during the workshop providing an insight and loopholes in the existing procedures of information collection, analysis and risk indicators, providing a basis for a next stage of developing strengthened procedures, which will require strong inter-agency cooperation.
The meeting also reviewed the MCS capacity assessment review, conducted by the team in all FCWC West Africa Task Force member States. The methodology, which has been developed by the Technical Team, aims to provide countries and partners with a baseline of MCS capacity at the institutional, human and infrastructure levels. This will allow both Member States and Technical Team to identify priorities for capacity training and allow for the measurement of progress over time.