Minister Quaye opens the fifth West Africa Task Force meeting

By Stop Illegal Fishing:8th Nov, 2017: West Africa Task Force

The fifth meeting of the West Africa Task Force was opened on Tuesday 7th November, in Accra, Ghana by the Honourable Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.

Minister Quaye noted the important role that fisheries play in West Africa, stating, “It must not be underestimated the value of fisheries to the region, both in terms of the number of livelihoods that depend on, and revolve around, fisheries, as well as the foreign interest and investment they generate.”

“Illegal activity, which includes transhipment at sea, use of illegal gears, and light fishing has been increasing recently with operators taking advantage of the weak capacity in our country and our region. We know that Ghana needs to cooperate and we have welcomed the approach of the West Africa Task Force where sharing information such as lists of licensed fishing vessels has shown real impact with the ability to better track vessel activity and to eliminate risk vessels from the region,” stated Minister Quaye.

Seraphin Dedi, Secretary General of the Fisheries Committee of the Western Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) welcomed the Minister and the participants from the member countries of the West Africa Task Force to the meeting and reflected on the success of the collaboration that has been built. “We have already achieved a lot but there is still more to do. We need to build on our regional approach as we can see it brings results, and we need to mobilise more partnerships.”

Duncan Copeland, Trygg Mat Tracking, commented, “As we enter the third year of the Task Force we are really seeing results, with increased information sharing, increased cooperation, strengthened compliance and strengthened interagency cooperation at the national level.”

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