Malindi, Kenya, 4 Nov 2022
The programme “Supporting effective PSMA implementation in Africa: Intelligence-led Fisheries Port Controls” held its second Steering Group meeting in Kenya from November 1st to 3rd, 2022.
The meeting was held under the aegis of the Kenya Fisheries Service (KeFS) and saw the participation of multi-agency delegations from the four pilot countries (Kenya, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana), as well as representatives from the programme’s Technical Team (TMT and Global Fishing Watch) and partner organizations Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), IMCSN (International MCS Network) and FCWC (Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea).
The role of the Steering Group is to guide the planning and implementation of the ongoing pilot phase of the programme and to provide feedback on the new tools and methods introduced, which aim to support a risk-based approach to the processing of AREPs (Advance Request for Entry to Port) and the targeting of foreign fishing vessels to inspect in port. Crucially, Steering Group meetings also provide an opportunity for participants to give an update on PSMA implementation status in their respective countries, and for the Technical Team to present progress under the different support areas of the programme.
A key output of the programme discussed in the meeting was the preparation of PSMA Port Profiles, which provide an overview of port use by foreign fishing and carrier vessels. The Port Profiles include statistics on port calls made by foreign fishing and carrier vessels, establish the profile of visiting vessels (flag, gear type, etc.) and analyze the operations conducted by the vessels on their voyages to the assessed port (fishing grounds, possible transhipment operations, etc.). Importantly, they assess the exposure of ports to types of operations representing a risk of IUU fishing. During the meeting, the methodology used to develop the Port Profiles was presented, and the results of the two first completed Port Profiles were presented.
Port Profiles will form an important source of information that national authorities will use, in combination with national data, as part of their baseline risk analysis – which aims to identify key threats in each PSMA-designated port’s “catchment area”.
Another milestone achieved that was discussed in the meeting was the release of a new working version of Vessel Viewer, a mobile app designed to provide fisheries inspectors with near real-time information on the identity, authorization status, compliance history and operations of fishing vessels. The application, which is based on a combination of data derived from GFW and TMT’s systems, will allow for cross-checking of information submitted in the AREP, and risk assessment of incoming vessels. The meeting marked the end of the one-year test phase of Vessel Viewer, during which all four pilot countries tested the app and provided feedback, which was then integrated into upgrades and new functionalities.
The first year of implementation of the programme also saw the delivery of trainings and mentoring sessions in all four pilot countries on topics relevant to PSMA implementation, such as risk assessment, vessel tracking and FMC operations, fishing and carrier vessel inspection and document verification. TMT also assisted all four countries in the setting-up or strengthening of inter-agency mechanisms in support to key functions of the PSMA.
Participants highlighted the complementarity between the components of this programme and other initiatives supporting PSMA implementation, in particular the FAO Global Capacity Development Programme. They stressed on the need to develop cooperation between initiatives at the level of each country, in order to optimize those complementarities.
The “Intelligence-led fisheries port controls” programme was developed by TMT and GFW with funding from multiple sources including Norad, Oak Foundation, Oceans 5 and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The pilot phase will end in March 2023, and will be followed by a second phase of implementation, which will see the onboarding of additional beneficiary countries from West and East Africa.