The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) and the Technical Team (TT) of the West Africa Task Force – TM Tracking (TMT) and Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) – organized a four-day, fisheries-focused interagency workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, from 20-23 March 2023.
Workshop participants discussed updates on national fisheries MCS and related activities, the FAO Agreement of Port State Measures (PSMA) implementation, the TT study on fish imports to Nigeria, and the outcomes of the MCS capacity assessment presented at WATF Meeting 13.
The standout national update is the establishment of Nigeria’s Fisheries Monitoring Centre with stations in Abuja and Lagos, with 4 personnel each to monitor the 142 vessels fitted with VMS, and all the fishing vessels with AIS. A plenary discussion was held to review more deeply and validate the national assessment results of the Nigeria 2022 MCS capacity assessment and ways to address the shortcomings it identified. Similar discussions were held on the outcomes of the study on fish imports, and the processes required through effective PSMA implementation to address the challenges it revealed.
Meeting attendees included representatives of Nigeria’s Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF); National Central Bureau (NCB) Interpol; Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Nigeria Ports Authority; Nigeria Navy; Nigeria Agricultural and Quarantine Service; Marine Police and the Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria Customs, and fishery consultants. The workshop was a success in bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the latest developments in fisheries MCS in Nigeria. The discussions were productive and identified a number of areas where further collaboration is needed. The workshop also provided a platform for participants to share experiences and learn from each other.