The Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT) at its sixth meeting in Rabat, Morocco, July 2005, made a request to FAO to assess the possibility of establishing a sub-regional committee of fisheries in the west central part of the Gulf of Guinea.
Pursuant to this request, FAO conducted a feasibility study in March 2006. This study was reviewed by the directors of fisheries of the six countries concerned at a meeting held in Cotonou, Benin, 12 to 13 April 2006. Approval was given to establish a sub-regional committee of fisheries named the Committee of Fisheries for the West Central of the Gulf of Guinea (FCWC). In July 2006, a ministerial meeting was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to accept the proposals of the Heads of Fisheries meeting. The Ministers signed the Declaration of July 2006, establishing the Committee. The first Ministerial Conference in Cotonou, Benin in November 2007 approved the Convention for the Establishment of the Fishery Committee as well as the Rules of Procedure.
You can read more about the background of the FCWC in the FCWC Institutional Instruments document in the Publications & Toolbox section of our website.
The Committee consists of a Conference of Ministers, an Advisory and Coordinating Committee and a Secretariat. The Conference of Ministers approved the headquarters agreement that the Committee has entered into with the host state Ghana to host the seat of the Committee in Tema, Ghana. The Conference of Ministers is the supreme body of the Committee comprising the Minister responsible for fisheries or his / her authorised representative for each Member State. The Advisory and Coordinating Committee comprises the heads of the departments responsible for marine fisheries or his / her authorised representative for each Member State. The Secretariat is the executive body of the Committee and is headed by a Secretary-General, a national from one of the Member States appointed by the Conference of Ministers for a period of 5-years renewable. The staff of the Secretariat, other than the seconded staff, are appointed by the Secretary-General.