Mozambique Agencies Meet to Build Cooperation for Fair, Safe and Legal Fisheries

By Stop Illegal Fishing:18th Mar, 2022: Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing

A two-day meeting exploring interagency cooperation and mechanisms for developing legal, safe and fair fisheries was held in Mozambique on 23 to 24 February 2022. The meeting focused on coordinating the implementation of tools for port State measures, safety and labour.

 

The three treaties – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Cape Town Agreement (CTA), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention No. 188 (C188) have been developed as international instruments to use ports to block illegally caught fish from being landed; to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities; and to improve safety, working and living conditions in the fisheries sector.

 

In her opening speech, Mozambique’s Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, demonstrated her support to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. She highlighted the significant global and regional economic loss to IUU fishing; as well as the negative impact on coastal communities who rely on fish and fishing for food and livelihoods. Minister Maita noted that addressing these issues requires complex, multi-sector responses with fisheries and the fight against IUU fishing integrated within blue growth strategies. Acknowledging the critical role of ports and the implementation of the PSMA and allied agreements, she stated, “Our ports represent the frontline in our fight against illegal fishing. We need to defend this frontline to secure our blue growth.”

 

Mozambique’s Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Augusta Maita, demonstrated her support to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

 

Presentations by representatives from the United Nations agencies highlighted the three treaties that will help deliver safer fishing vessels, decent working conditions and legally caught fish. The FAO Leader of Fishery Global and Regional Processes team, Matthew Camilleri, stated that the FAO’s purpose is to ensure that communities have quality and sustainable food supply; however, when it comes to the fishing industry, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has become a huge obstacle. He highlighted the need of an interagency coordination to maximize the benefits of the fishing sector in a safe working environment.

 

Cagri Kucukyildiz, of the IMO, shared information on the 1995 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F) which establishes minimum training and certification requirements for crew of shipping vessels. He tied the STCW-F Convention to the CTA which provides mandatory safety measures for fishing vessels of 24 meters in length and over. The CTA stipulates the design, equipment, and construction standards for vessels fishing in exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the high seas. These two instruments promote safety of life at sea by setting the necessary frameworks to decrease the likelihood of fatal accidents. Currently global efforts are being made to encourage the ratification, entry into force, and implementation of the CTA.

 

From the ILO, Christine Bader, emphasised that IUU fishing not only has a strong environmental impact but also an economic and social impact; hence the need for the ILO, FAO and IMO to combine their efforts. Christine Bader highlighted some of the ILO’s instruments developed to combat at-sea poor working and living conditions. She focused on the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (C029), which Mozambique has ratified. This highlights the link between forced labour and human trafficking and requires parties to prevent forced labour and protect the victims. As well as the C188 which helps prevent exploitive and illegal practices, forced labour and human trafficking. Christine Bader stated that Mozambique is yet to ratify to this convention and encouraged the government to ratify and start implementing it; adding that ILO is available to offer technical support and capacity building.

 

The workshop also provided opportunity to present findings of the legal review conducted by FAO and SIF in 2021. Discussions on possible options for strengthening the legislative framework for port State measures were led by Teresa Amador of the FAO.

Presentations by representatives from the United Nations agencies highlighted the three treaties that will help deliver safer fishing vessels, decent working conditions and legally caught fish.

 

JD Kotze and Joao Noa Senete of SIF led a live demonstration on the use of body worn cameras to support fisheries inspectors in their day-to-day operations in port. A pilot study has provided evidence that the body worn cameras are an excellent and necessary tool to assist with remote capacity building. Their use is contributing towards improving the quality of inspections, reducing corruption and violence towards officials performing their duties.

 

The second day of the workshop focused on procedures for decision making for a vessel seeking port entry and use, and the practical interagency cooperation and information sharing processes and mechanisms that are required for effective port State measures. It ended with the development of a capacity building plan for continuing to develop human, infrastructure and institutional resources to implement these aspects of PSMs.

 

Per Erik Bergh of Stop Illegal Fishing commented ‘this workshop has been a milestone for nurturing cooperation between different agencies associated with ports, fisheries and the blue economy. Capacity building needs have been identified to strengthen this cooperation in the future, which will be beneficial to all the agencies involved and assist in implementing the fisheries policy and legislative framework.’

 

Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) supported the meeting technically and financially through their work to implement port state measures to stop illegal fishing (PSM-SIF) across Africa, with funding from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the Global Programme Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Special Initiative.  The engagement of the UN Agencies was kindly facilitated by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

 

 

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