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New Report 'Intelligence-Led Fisheries Port Controls' Programme Pilot Phase

July 5th 2024 The report is available in English and French.

Le rapport est disponible en anglais et en français.

A key challenge faced by African port States is a limited overview and understanding of how foreign fishing vessels utilise their ports and the fishing activities prior to arrival.

While most African port States have become Parties to the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) in recent years, most countries still lack key capabilities and processes to conduct the meticulous checks required before authorising foreign fishing vessels to access and use their ports.Most States also do not have a robust inspection regime in place for foreign fishing vessels that access their ports.

All fish caught by industrial fishing vessels must, at some point, pass through a port in order to be landed and enter into the post-vessel seafood supply chain and reach market States.

As such, ports are often the last checkpoint where fish can be clearly linked to the vessel that caught it, and this offers one of the best and most cost-effective opportunities to identify, prosecute, and deter illegal fishing.

Intelligence-Led Fisheries Port Controls - A Pilot Programme

Between 2021 - 2023 TMT and Global Fishing Watch delivered technical assistance to four African states - Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Senegal - in the form of analysis, tools, and capacity training aimed at supporting national efforts for implementing the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), with a particular focus on the Advanced Request for Entry to Port (AREP) process.

The programme report highlights the key components and achievements of this “Intelligence-Led Fisheries Port Controls" pilot phase programme, which came to an end at the end of 2023, as well as lessons learned as the programme enters its next stage of delivery having been extended to six additional countries in West and East Africa.

The report includes:

  • Introduction & background

  • Programme rationale

  • Programme design, funders and partners

  • The Advance Request for Entry to Port

  • Supporting a risk-based approach to PSMA implementation

  • Describing port use to better understand IUU fishing risks including PSMA Port Profiles for Abidjan, Dakar, Tema and Mombasa ports

  • Arming fisheries inspectors with vessel information

  • Capacity building to improve knowledge on the PSMA and new tools

  • Lessons learned and next steps

The programme pilot phase:

  • Realized the development and testing of key tools supporting the operational implementation of the PSMA, namely Vessel Viewer and the Port Profiles

  • Provided a platform to assist countries in developing and implementing an inspection regime of foreign fishing vessels based on a robust AREP process

  • Allowed national fisheries authorities to put into practice new skills on pre-port entry analysis and vessel inspection.

  • Enabled pilot countries to fully realize, through real-life cases, the importance of cooperation with other flag, coastal and port States to cross-check information supplied by vessel operators and detect possible occurrences of IUU fishing.

The report is available for free download in English and French.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the Governments of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Senegal, and particularly all the individual representatives of those governments who are active focal points for the programme and work so hard towards broader implementation of the PSMA in their ports.

We acknowledge and thank the important role and contributions of the FCWC to programme success. We also extend thanks to the Oak Foundation, Norad, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Schmidt Family Foundation, and Oceans 5 for their funding support to various countries and components of programme implementation.


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