Accra, Ghana (13 – 17 September 2021) – The Fisheries Committee of the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) is hosting a five-day Task Force meeting in Accra, Ghana to discuss interagency cooperation and regional collaboration since the last meeting in Liberia in September 2019.
The meeting is the tenth regional meeting since the first in April 2015 also in Ghana and will again bring together Directors of Fisheries and Heads of MCS of the six FCWC Member States and other fisheries MCS-related actors to share updates and review national and regional level activities.
“This tenth West Africa Task Force (WATF) meeting marks seven years of agencies working together at the national levels and Member States working together at the regional level to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The WATF has successfully operationalized the FCWC’s MCS mandate and many achievements have been chalked. It is important and necessary to highlight these achievements as we press on to build upon them for further concrete results in the future,” FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi stated.
Key discussions for the upcoming meeting include: a recap of the past 24 months; the Regional MCS Centre and updates on integration with national VMS systems; WATF cases and lessons learnt; a review and validation of the pilot regional observer programme project; and the process of the mid-term review.
The WATF brings together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo – to tackle illegal fishing and stop the trade in illegally caught fish. The Task Force is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) and Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) with funding from the Norwegian Cooperation Agency (NORAD). Through active cooperation, information sharing and facilitating the operations of national interagency working groups, the West Africa Task Force is working together to stop illegal fishing.