The Economic Community of West Africa, ECOWAS is set to tackle maritime insecurity within the region with improved regulation, monitoring and control.
This was the focus of a coordination meeting between ECOWAS, Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) and Improved Regional Fisheries Governance in Western Africa Programme (PESCAO) in Abuja.
Moyo Thomas reports that the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the insecurity in the gulf of Guinea is the main theme of this meeting.
The Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous and notorious stretch of water around the world with 201 incidences of maritime piracy and armed robbery reported in 2018 alone.
The Gulf of Guinea also accounted for 6 hijackings, 13 ships fired upon, 130 hostages held and 78 seafarers kidnapped for ransome.
These add up to more than 80%of reported incidences around the world.
According to the ECOWAS report, the region loses an average of $2billion annually to theft of maritime resources and illegal fishing.
The regional body is seeking help from the European Union to end this menace.
The funding from the European Union is in Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS), an organization that seeks to investigate illegal fishing and money laundering.