African institutions move towards greater MCS collaboration

By Stop Illegal Fishing:9th Mar, 2018: Event Coverage · FISH-i Africa

The benefits of regional cooperation and collaboration between countries and organisations for effective monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) are being strengthened under the leadership of the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR).

A stakeholder’s consultative workshop for the validation of the Framework for Institutional Collaboration on MCS in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) was held in Gaborone, Botswana from the 7th – 9th March 2018, organised by AU-IBAR with support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The meeting brought together relevant regional economic communities; SADC, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community, relevant regional fisheries bodies and large marine ecosystems; the Benguela Current Commission, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation and the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission, as well as regional projects and other organizations such as FISH-i Africa, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), the SmartFish Project of the IOC and the World Wildlife Fund.

Senior Fisheries Officer at AU-IBAR, Dr Mohamed Seisay stated, “This is a rare occasion when all the relevant RECs and partners in the region were able to meet to discuss important issues relating to illegal fishing and MCS in the region and on the continent. If cooperation continues in this spirit then there will be a paradigm shift, with African experts and stakeholders progressing towards an end to illegal fishing and related issues in the region.”

Participants gave input on the institutional role of the various RECs in fisheries and MCS initiatives and discussed their potential to play a role in addressing IUU fishing, particularly through information sharing.

Stop Illegal Fishing Coordinator Sandy Davies stated, “Stop Illegal Fishing is happy to be involved in this continental process and we are pleased to be able to provide evidence-based advice, particularly from our experience with the FISH-i Africa Task Force, to relevant stakeholders through analysis of the cases encountered by the Task Force. We hope to continue to work closely with all the partners in future.”

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