A team from the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) attended the Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and IUU Fishing, organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Government of Spain, in Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain, 21-23 October 2019.
The conference aimed at promoting ratification of the Cape Town Agreement, a key IMO treaty for safety of fishing vessels. Prior to this meeting (September 2019) only 11 states had ratified the internationally binding instrument. The agreement would provide an international mandatory regime making it harder for effective control and monitoring of fishing vessel safety standards.
At the meeting 46 countries including four FCWC Member States – Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo – signed the declaration denouncing the proliferation of IUU fishing, indicating their determination to ensure the agreement enters into force by October 11th 2022.
Speaking at the conference, Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi commented “the signing of the declaration by our Member States is a clear indication of our regional commitment to cooperation and safety at sea within the region and with the international community at large. We look forward to all our Members ratifying this important agreement will make the necessary preparations in our region for its entry into force.”