COMHAFAT: EU and African countries plan measures against illegal fishing

Representatives of the European Commission (EC), the Spanish Government, Atlantic African countries, fleets and NGOs have coordinated new joint measures to strengthen the fight against illegal fishing in waters of the African continent.

The European Long Distance Fleet Advisory Council (LDAC) -with representatives of the sector and NGOs-, and the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation between African African States (COMHAFAT) met in Madrid to analyze the 2018 priorities, such as the control of the fishing grounds.

The CONMHAFAT groups more than twenty African nations of the Atlantic, among which are Morocco, Senegal and Namibia.
At the meeting, Europeans and Africans discussed the progress in the actions in these waters, within the framework of development cooperation, among other areas.

The Secretary General of Fisheries, Alberto López-Asenjo, told Efeagro that Spain is strengthening its "inspection activities" and actions in Morocco, or in other non-African latitudes, such as Thailand, New Zealand, Australia or the Philippines, since it is about a "global struggle" (against pirate fishing) and the "greatest possible international coordination" is needed.

He also announced that, in June, the Ministry will host an international event in Madrid on the occasion of the World Day Against Illegal Fishing (commemorated on the 5th of that month).

The Spanish Government is also planning for June a training program in Vigo, in agreement with the FAO and in the framework of the "blue growth economy".
On his part, the president of the LDAC, Ivan Lopez, said, in statements to Efeagro, that the joint projects against illegal fishing are advancing "little by little", given that they are nations with very different legislations and situations.

He also underscored the interest in promoting plans in the area of ​​the Gulf of Guinea, an area "with few resources", where a project with several coastal countries, "Pescao", is involved, in which the EC and the European Agency are involved. Fisheries Control (EFCA), and whose purpose is to develop the inspection and the means.

Lopez explained that the Gulf of Guinea is a troubled area, because of the "proliferation" of Chinese and Turkish ships with "very aggressive" attitudes.