The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) Secretariat successfully launched its Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Centre (RMCSC) on 12 May 2021 at the FCWC Secretariat in Tema, Ghana.
In-person attendees to the launch ceremony included the Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana, H.E. Diana Acconcia; Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Hon. Mavis Koomson; Benin’s Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, Innocent Togla; representatives of Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Nigeria’s diplomatic missions to Ghana; as well as other dignitaries and stakeholders in the fisheries sector and relevant agencies, and over 60 virtual participants.
In his opening remarks, the FCWC-Secretary-General, Mr. Seraphin Dedi highlighted the benefits of the Centre, including the creation of a database of Regional Record of Authorized Fishing Vessels (RRAFV), the development of an observers program, and support for regional patrol operations.
H. E. Diana Acconcia shared that the EU is firmly committed to eradicating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and is taking strong and structured action towards the goal. “We only stand a chance to revert the trend if coastal states work together – and that is the rationale behind the PESCAO project,” she said.
Ghana’s Sector Minister Hon. Mrs. Mavis Koomson assured attendees that the Government of Ghana “is committed to the regional strategy to combat IUU fishing and would offer the FCWC Secretariat all the necessary assistance to spearhead the regional fight against IUU fishing.” The RMCSC was established under the PESCAO project, and has been operational since April 2020. Mr. Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu, RMCSC Coordinator, explained the Centre’s operations to the audience in a presentation before treating the dignitaries to a live demonstration of the system’s capabilities.
FCWC Communication Officer.