Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing capacity needs assessment: Madagascar

By Stop Illegal Fishing:30th Sep, 2019: Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing

The Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing (PSM-SIF) initiative conducted a series of meetings, between the 9th and 18th September 2019, with government and industry representatives in Madagascar. The expert team was able to develop a capacity needs assessment and to work with the key agencies involved in implementing port State measures, and map out how they cooperate to conduct pre-port entry checks, inspections and follow up actions when infractions are identified.

Madagascar, Ghana and Mozambique are the three African countries being supported by PSM-SIF, which aims to provide practical support for the implementation of port State measures. This will bring institutional, organisational and operational benefits that will lead to more stringent and more effective port procedures for dealing with fishing vessels. By identifying high-risk or known illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) listed vessels when they apply for permission to enter port national authorities can keep these vessels out of their ports and keep illegally caught fish from being landed.

Madagascar has five ports designated for use by foreign-flagged vessels: Antsiranana (Diégo-Suarez), Mahajanga (Majunga), Toliara (Tuléar), Toamasina (Tamatave) and Tolagnaro (Fort-Dauphin). The most significant is Antsiranana, which in addition to being an important fishing port is also home to a tuna cannery and therefore attracts vessels from the tuna fleet operating on the Western Indian Ocean to offload. The SIF team met with officials in both Antsiranana and Mahajanga, as well as with government authorities in Antananarivo.

Madagascar is one of the few countries that has started to implement e-PSMs within the framework of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. Per Erik Bergh, Stop Illegal Fishing Coorinator commented, “This provides a strong foundation for PSM-SIF, and it is hoped that by developing PSM for foreign fishing vessels that these procedures will be transferable to the small-scale fleet of vessels fishing within the large EEZ of Madagascar. This fleet catches a range of seafood that is often exported to Asia.”

Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing, stated, “This visit to Madagascar has given the PSM-SIF initiative a very solid start as was have been able to assess and develop procedures, and to provide on-the-ground support for interagency inspections of fishing vessels. The initial mapping and assessment of working procedures in the two ports visited, in collaboration with monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) officials will enable us to develop a capacity building and awareness plan that we hope will support Madagascar to keep illegally caught fish out of its ports.

Stop Illegal Fishing is working with the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries, Madagascar to effectively implement the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), though the PSM-SIF initiative. The PSM-SIF initiative is funded by 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.

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One in four fish in Africa is caught illegally, this threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, damages the ecosystem and deprives governments of income and people of livelihoods.

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