Between the 11th and the 15th of December, the 15th FCWC West Africa Task Force meeting and the 3rd Steering group meeting were hold in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
15th FCWC West Africa Task Force Meeting
The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) and the Government of Abidjan, through the Ivoirian Ministry for Animal and Fisheries Resources (MIRAH) hosted the 15th FCWC West Africa Task Force (WATF) meeting from 11th and 12th of December 2023.
The West Africa Task Force seeks to strengthen fisheries enforcement cooperation in the region through strengthened information sharing and cooperation and is supported by technical team partners Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) and TMT, with funding from Norad.
This fifteen WATF meeting brought together Directors of Fisheries, and heads of fisheries monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) to share national level updates, and to discuss regional cooperation and collaboration in MCS enforcement actions.
The meeting also included Representatives from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Sub-Regional Fishery Committee (SRFC).
The key outlines of this meeting were the announcement of the third phase of the Norad-funded ‘Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in Africa, discussion on the funding of the FCWC MSC center, discussion on bunkering and transhipment activities in the region and the new FCWC and ILO MoU to promote decent work and labour conditions.
3rd Steering Group Meeting - Intelligence-led Fisheries Port Controls
Between the 13Th and the 15th of December the third Gteering Group meeting took place for the programme called "Supporting effective implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) in Africa: Intelligence-led Fisheries Port Controls”.
The aim of this steering Group is to ensure coherent implementation of activities at national level, and their good coordination across beneficiary countries as the program enters in its second phase.
This steering group meeting was held under the aegis of the Ivorian Ivoirian Ministry for Animal and Fisheries Resources (MIRAH) and saw the participation of multi-agency delegations from the four pilot countries (Kenya, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana) and the new countries (Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Togo).
The meeting also included Representatives from Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), from the Sub-Regional Fishery Committee (SRFC) and representatives from the programme’s Technical Team (TMT and Global Fishing Watch).
The role of the Steering Group is to guide the planning and implementation of the Intelligence-led Fisheries Port Controls program and to provide feedback on the tools and methods developed to support the implementation of the Port State Measure Agreement.
The 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 meeting was the introduction of the six new countries in the program (Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Togo) which benefited from the pilot countries experience. Indeed, pilot countries provided details on how the program supported the implementation of the PSMA through risk matrix and risk analysis.
An interactive session enabled new countries to discuss their capabilities gaps with the technical team and pilot countries representatives. Key discussions included the presentation of the four pilot countries port profile, the updated version of Vessel Viewer, the onboarding process and MEL framework for the project and new port monitoring support.
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 WATF is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes TMT and Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) with funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Through active cooperation, information sharing and facilitating the operations of national interagency working groups, the West Africa Task Force is working together to stop illegal fishing.
The “Intelligence-led fisheries port controls” programme was developed by TMT and Global Fishing Watch with funding from multiple sources including Norad, Oak Foundation, Oceans 5 and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.