Using innovative technology for MCS efforts in Ghana, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire

Between January and March 2022, during short ceremonies in Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, the FCWC Secretariat have handed over Samsung tablets donated under the West Africa Task Force to the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) Divisions of each country's Fisheries Commission, to improve their MCS efforts.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 tablets have been pre-configured as an inspection tool with software applications for fisheries inspectors to use in their due diligence checks, preliminary analysis, and evidence collection. 'Also included is the Vessel Viewer app developed under a partnership between TMT and Global Fishing Watch (GFW), enabling inspectors to easily access vessel history, ownership, recent positions and other relevant data to assess vessel identity and operations before granting access to port.


The devices are also pre-loaded with supporting manuals developed under the WATF initiative including the Document Verification Manual, the Photography Manual and the Fisheries Enforcement Phrase Book for reference as necessary.


After a presentation in Ghana delivered by TMT & PESCAO Project Coordinator, Viviane Koutob, and the appending of signatures, Ghana’s Head of MCS, Papa Yaw Atobrah received the tablets from the FCWC Regional MCS Centre Coordinator, Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu. “Technological tools like these greatly enhance our capabilities and performance. We look forward to demonstrating the difference that these tools, and the added functions they provide, will make to our inspections,” Mr Atobrah remarked.


Commenting on the handover of the equipment, FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi stated “we are putting technology in the hands of the people who need it most. We expect that giving inspectors near-immediate access to information, the ability to collect and store information, connecting to the RMCSC, will improve the oversight that Ghana has over its fisheries.”


The FCWC West Africa Task Force (WATF) was established in 2015 under the Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in West Africa project funded by Norad. It is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes TMT and Stop Illegal Fishing.


Some highlights in pictures below