PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tema, Ghana (1 March 2023) – The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), TMT, Global Fishing Watch (GFW), Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) and the Government of Ghana are organizing a fisheries-focused, operational inter-agency workshop from 7- 10 March 2023 in Tema, Ghana.
The workshop will convene representatives from Ghana’s national agencies including the Fisheries Commission, Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Ministry of Justice, Ghana Navy, Marine Police, Customs, Immigration Service, National Investigation Bureau (NIB), and Food and Drugs Authority, to gauge progress of Ghana’s implementation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), and provide further capacity training towards this objective.
The PSMA is the first binding international instrument to ensure that illegally caught fish does not enter national or international markets. All six FCWC member countries are parties to the Agreement.
Key objectives of the workshop include discussion of the ongoing development of the Advance Request for Entry to Port (AREP) procedure and related risk analyses processes; a review of the PSMA Port Profile of Tema; introduction of a updated version of the Vessel Viewer tool; and identification of areas requiring further technical assistance. The workshop will also include an on-site mentoring session of vessel inspections at the Tema port.
FCWC Secretary General, Seraphin Dedi commented on the workshop stating, “this capacity development support to FCWC Member States, starting with Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, falls within two key areas of intervention in the FCWC 2021-2030 Strategic Action Plan: capacity development, and consolidation of the achievements of regional cooperation in the fight against IUU fishing. The operational nature of this workshop will help ensure that PSMA is effectively implemented in Ghana and give an opportunity for much-required needs assessment to improve the process in the future.” The workshop is being held under the auspices of the FCWC West Africa Task Force on IUU Fishing and supported through the Intelligence-led Fisheries Port Controls programme with funding secured by TMT and Global Fishing Watch to support African countries operationally implement the PSMA. Ghana is one of the four pilot countries (along with Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Senegal) of the programme.