FINAL REPORT - REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED and UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING, LOME 28-31 JULY 2014.
In his opening remarks, Seraphin DEDI NADJE, the Secretary General of FCWC wished everyone a happy Eid and thanked the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Togo for his effective presence in the workshop reflecting the commitment of Togo to fisheries cooperation in FCWC space and beyond.Then he recalled the terms and conditions for the holding of the workshop, including the material,organizational and financial support provided respectively by the Governments of Ghana, Togo and the NEPAD Agency.
Mr. Dedi then pointed out the context in which is held the workshop marked on the one hand by the increase in IUU fishing in the sub-region, on the other hand by the measures taken internationally including by the European Union and FAO to combat IUU fishing.These measures may jeopardize export opportunities for FCWC countries if in return they do not take action to fight this scourge.The holding of this workshop focused on capacity building for inspection of ships in port and at sea, the sharing of political and legal instruments against IUU fishing is the will of FCWC to rise to IUU fishing challenge.
Finally, he also stressed the profile of participants whose common characteristic is membership in Administrations involved in monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fisheries and specifically in the fight against IUU fishing in FCWC countries.This particular profile of participants increases the need for information and analysis sharing to improve the fight against IUU fishing in the FCWC region.And he hoped that the exchange of experiences would be made on a free and participatory basis during the workshop.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries then took the floor to welcome the participants and wish them a pleasant stay in Togo.He commended Ghana and NEPAD for their support for the meeting.He underlined the unwavering will of Togo to fight IUU fishing, related crime and traffic and piracy.This political will is supported at the highest level by the Head of State.He also hoped that this regional workshop organized by FCWC would provide adequate answers to this scourge.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries also lamented that the FCWC countries did not make full use of their fisheries resources due to damage caused by IUU fishing.The staggering income loss is estimated to be more than $ 2 billion per year excluding costs for food security and livelihoods of the people.He also stressed the maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea leading IMO to classify this maritime region among the most dangerous in Africa.His belief is that in addition to the efforts of each country, it is necessary to enhance cooperation between countries in the sub region to overcome this scourge.
For its part, Togo, with the support of technical and financial partners has already taken strong action in this direction, including: i) the reshaping of the legal framework for fisheries and the code of Shipping to take better account of the fight against IUU fishing;iii) the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to fight IUU fishing;iii) the implementation of some strong measures such as suspending the granting of fishing licenses to foreign vessels, the cancellation of all Togolese-flagged vessels involved in IUU fishing, the suspension of the registration of foreign fishing vessels, inspection of fishing vessels that frequent the Port of Lomé for repairs or refits at the "OTAM" shipyard,Inspection of ships before the grant or renewal of fishing authorizations.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has finally welcomed the initiatives of FCWC and its partners in the fight against IUU fishing and expressed his hope in this capacity building workshop to score decisive points in the fight against IUU fishing.