Supporting port State measures implementation in Mozambique

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

As part of Stop Illegal Fishing’s ongoing support to Mozambique to implement port State measures a two-week capacity needs assessment and training mission was undertaken. The expert team visited Maputo and the ports of Nacala and Beira, between the 6th and 20th August 2019.

The Nacala workshop was attended by representatives from key interagency partners and provided an opportunity to map and assess national processes for allowing vessels into port and conducting inspections. This is a critical step in developing a more formal interagency team, and will inform the development of standard operating procedures to improve ‘check, inspect and act’ processes and interagency cooperation.

In Beira both classroom based exercises and on the job mentoring with fisheries inspectors were undertaken. The training exercises identified a range of violations and infractions, ranging from unauthorised offloading to inadequate vessel markings.

The pre-inspection checking procedures were successfully used to identify a Chinese flagged trawler, licensed to fish in Mozambique that had fished illegally inside the 12-mile limit. A targeted inspection confirmed the illegal activity through analysis of on-board tracking systems. Further infractions were identified during the port inspection; including the lack of flag State authorization to fish outside of the China EEZ and incomplete catch logbook entries. As a result the total catch was seized, as it was illegally caught. Investigations are ongoing.

JD Kotze, SIF Expert, commented, “Our training has had a particular focus on the ‘check’ process, as this can reveal illegal activity such as vessel identity fraud, illegal fishing activity, a history of non-compliance or unauthorised activity such as transhipment at-sea before the vessel arrives in port. This helps with the targeting of inspection when high-risk vessels are identified, or recommending the denial of port access when IUU vessels are found.”

Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing, said, “Stop Illegal Fishing is delighted to be working with the authorities in Mozambique. A sufficiently staffed, adequately trained and well-informed inspectorate, operationally well integrated with other elements of the monitoring, control and surveillance system is essential for effective port State implementation. The Port State Measures to Stop Illegal Fishing (PSM-SIF) initiative is providing help where it is needed most — on the ground and in the port.”

Since 2018 Stop Illegal Fishing has been working with the Ministry of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries in Mozambique 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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