African Ports Network
The African Ports Network is coordinated by Stop Illegal Fishing to connect people working to implement port State measures in Africa to keep illegally caught fish out of African ports.
Growing out of the Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing (PSM-SIF) pilot initiative in Ghana, Madagascar and Mozambique, the African Ports Network brings together the people, the tools, the knowledge and the experience needed to support all African countries to implement port State measures (PSMs).
Why is the African Ports Network needed?
Cooperation between port States is crucial to stop illegal fishing. A critical part of implementing port State measures is conducting pre-port entry checks and risk assessment on the vessel, its catch and the owners and operators – the vessel, the fish and the players.
If a vessel, its catch or its operators are found or suspected to be engaged in or supporting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing it can be denied port access or port services. Informing other ports so that they too can deny the vessel permission to enter port or to use port services makes it more difficult for illegal operators to market their catch and it reduces their profit.
Only by working across Africa to identify and overcome the shared challenges faced by fisheries inspectors working on the frontline in our ports, will we build our capacity to stop illegal fishing and to keep illegally caught fish and illegal operators out of all African ports.
By implementing the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) of the FAO and standardising the minimum legal requirements for PSMs, it is simpler for officials and harder for illegal fishers to exploit differences in the laws of port States.
What does the African Ports Network do?
The African Ports Network is working to:
- Provide an African network for PSM information, knowledge and experience exchange.
- Promote the benefits of implementing PSMs for Africa and being a party to the global PSMA.
- Offer access to capacity building material developed specifically for supporting implementation of PSM in Africa, but with global relevance.
- Develop resources such as multi-agency standard operating procedures and templates for interagency agreements.
- Develop practical tools that help fisheries inspectors to check, inspect and act against illegal operators.
- Share alerts for information on high-risk vessels, catch and players.
- Share our PSM experiences internationally to influence policy and practical responses to ensure that African needs and challenges are considered.
Who is involved in the African Ports Network?
The African Ports Network provides a space for everyone and all organisations engaged or interested in implementing PSM. The Network has different tools and mechanisms to support its work and to connect people in the most suitable ways.
For example, sharing information between African government agencies responsible for implementing PSM is being piloted between the initial three countries of the Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing (PSM-SIF) initiative:
- Ghana – through the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries led Ports Task Force Ghana;
- Madagascar – through the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries; and
- Mozambique – through the Ministry of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries.
Tools and resources for the APN have initially been developed through the PSM-SIF initiative with funding support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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1-5 February 2021 Rome, Italy For more information go to: http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/cofi/documents-cofi34/en/