APA-Abuja (Nigeria) The Fisheries Committee of West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWCGF) is meeting in Abuja to finalise its 10 years strategic plan, Dedi Nadje, secretary general of the committee, said on Wednesday.
FCWCGF was created in 2006 by a ministerial declaration committee in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to facilitate cooperation in fisheries management between the six member countries of the West Central Gulf of Guinea (WCGG).
The six — Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire — have several shared fish stocks as well as shared issues such as their migrant fishermen and movement of fishing vessels from one country’s water to another, and this demands cooperation and joint responses.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day meeting, he said that the strategic plan had become imperative because it would serve as a working tool to guarantee the sustainable exploitation of the living aquatic resources of the sub-region for the benefit of the people.
Nadje said the US$200,000 dollar strategic plan being funded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) focused on enhancing national capabilities for efficient, cost effective and sustainable fisheries monitoring.
He said it also included establishing a mechanism for effective regional cooperation and enforcement to stop obnoxious fishing and installing a modern vessel tracking system in the in the (WCGG).
The secretary general noted that the meeting, coming ahead of the ministerial meeting, would also agree on the priority areas for the 2011 and to fully recognise the damage being done to the region by illegal fishing.
Najeem Awodele, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, stressed the need for member nations to pursue the objectives of the international plan against illegal fishing, conducting fish stock assessment and harmonisation of the monitoring, control and surveillance which has being a major challenge in the sub-region.
source: Afrique Avenir