The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) Secretariat held it’s Advisory and Coordination Committee (ACC) meeting in 2020 online from 9 to 11 December, 2020 under the chairmanship of Benin’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who was represented by Mr. Innocent Togla, the Secretary-General of the ministry.
The meeting was attended by 57 participants drawn from FCWC Member States (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo), representatives of technical partners including the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT), Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Hen Mpoano, Sub- Regional Fisheries Committee (SRFC), MacAllister Elliott & Partners, and the Tunisian Society for Sustainable Fisheries (TSSF).
In opening remarks read on behalf of Benin’s Minister, Mr. Innocent Togla relayed the apologies of the FCWC Chair for his inability to participate in the meeting due to other urgent issues. Mr Togla stated that this meeting was an opportunity for the Directors to assess the activities of the FCWC in 2020 to enable the Secretariat plan towards 2021.
FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi welcomed and expressed his appreciation to all participants for making themselves available for the meeting. He declared that the purpose of the ACC meeting was to review the Secretariat’s activities for 2020 in accordance with the 2020 Activity Plan, as well as the work plan and budget for 2021.
The annual report 2020 of FCWC Secretariat was accepted by the board of the Directors of fisheries. This report includes achieved objectives such as the establishment of regional VMS Centre with its New Coordinator recruited, the harmonisation of the Fisheries data collection system and upgrade of the FCWC FMS, new programmes developed for fisheries Transparency and PSMA implementation support in the region, as well as the new FCWC Strategic Action Plan 2021-2030 validated under JICA support. This new plan identified aquaculture as a priority area to be addressed in the region.
The 2021 workplan and budget was approved with the aims to: identify a new Secretary-General by 2023; restructure the FCWC institutional framework to become a technical arm of ECOWAS; integrate Member States’ vessel monitoring systems into the regional VMS system; and to support the development of the small-scale fisheries value chain.
The session of the ACC is usually held prior to the annual Conference of Ministers and is hosted on a rotational and alphabetical basis between the Contracting Parties (Member States) according to the provisions of Article 7 of the Convention Establishing the Committee. However, due to COVID-19 and its implications, the 13th Conference of Ministers will instead be hosted in 2021 in Cote d’Ivoire.
FCWC Communication Officer.