The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) participated in the Thirteenth Session of the FAO Fisheries and Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS) Steering Committee meeting held on the 26 – 30 June 2023, in London, United Kingdom.
The meeting chaired by Mr. Darius Campbell (Secretary, NEAFC) included participants representing 13 Partners, 2 collaborative institutions, and 4 observer organizations to discuss ways FIRMS could contribute to the development of a broader framework in support of sustainable fisheries with foci on management information and small-scale fisheries data, both of which would be key to the FAO’s Blue Transformation initiative.
FCWC Technical Fisheries Advisor, Abena Asante reported on the FCWC’s activities recalling key milestones in the FCWC-FAO-FIRMS bilateral collaboration. The FCWC-FAO-FIRMS collaboration has supported development of the FCWC regional fisheries database including the offering of web service (APIs) by species, country and fishing unit and the inventory and publication of 38 fisheries (rep. year 2020-2022), with others in progress. The fisheries statistical assessment conducted in Nigeria called for the Nigerian fisheries at both federal and state levels to rejuvenate the institutional and legal frameworks and resources to back fisheries data collection.
Key outcomes of the meeting include to work with FIRMS Partners in data-limited/weak reporting areas to build capacity and identify relevant potential data sources; to support the commitment and timeliness of data submissions by FIRMS partners, contribution of catch and effort time series by region or subregion, guidelines for the definition of assessment units as they relate to temporal continuity, reduction in the duplication effort of data collection, support on capacity building, and convergence between national and regional SDG 14.4.1 indicators.
FCWC’s Abena Asante was elected Vice-Chairman of the Steering Committee.