Ghana’s SOP Workshop of the West Africa Task Force (WATF) Technical Team

By Stop Illegal Fishing:22nd May, 2024:

The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) held a workshop for members of the West Africa Task Force (WATF) in Ghana from the 6-10 May 2024.

The focus was placed on the decision-making process related to receiving advanced requests for entry to port (AREP) which are part of implementing the Agreement on port state measures (PSMA). It also finalized standard operating procedures (SOPs) specific to Ghana’s implementation of the PSMA.

Ultimately, risk assessments guide the decision whether to inspect a fishing vessel, and if so they help to determine the priority for the inspection, this helps to make inspections targeted and focused towards the risk areas identified though the risk assessment process, both saving resources and increasing the chances of identifying any illicit activity.  In particular, this decision is guided by the risk that any illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing may have taken place before the vessel arrived at port.

The SIF representatives, Per Erik Bergh and JD Kotze, conducted the workshop as part of the WATF technical team. Per Erik Bergh commented ‘The Ghanaian officials working to implement the PSMA have steadily increased their skills, knowledge and practical application over the last years and now have developed a systematic approach to implementing risk assessment and conducting inspections to validate the risk assessments.’

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