26 January 2022, RMCSC Conference Room
The FCWC Secretariat in a short ceremony handed over Samsung tablets donated under the West Africa Task Force to the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) Division of Ghana’s Fisheries Commission, to improve its MCS efforts.
The West Africa Task Force (WATF) was established in 2015 under the Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in West Africa project funded by Norad. 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).
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 tablets have been pre-configured as an inspection tool with software applications for fisheries inspectors to use in their due diligence checks, preliminary analysis, and evidence collection. Also included is the Vessel Viewer app developed under a partnership between TMT and Global Fishing Watch (GFW), enabling inspectors to easily access vessel history, ownership, and other relevant data to confirm vessel identity before granting access to port. Furthermore, the devices are pre-loaded with supporting manuals developed under the WATF initiative including the Document Verification Manual, the Photography Manual and the Fisheries Enforcement Phrase Book for reference as necessary.
After a presentation delivered by TMT & PESCAO Project Coordinator, Viviane Koutob, and the appending of signatures, Ghana’s Head of MCS, Papa Yaw Atobrah received the tablets from the FCWC Regional MCS Centre Coordinator, Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu. “Technological tools like these greatly enhance our capabilities and performance. We look forward to demonstrating the difference that these tools, and the added functions they provide, will make to our inspections,” Mr Atobrah remarked.
Commenting on the handover of the equipment, FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi stated “we are putting technology in the hands of the people who need it most. We expect that giving inspectors near-immediate access to information, the ability to collect and store information, connecting to the RMCSC, will improve the oversight that Ghana has over its fisheries.”