The Secretary General of the FCWC, Mr. Séraphin DEDI is attended a consultative workshop on the Harmonized Minimum Conditions from 16-19th April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop was intended to provide policy provisions in the assessment of fisheries management measures for the regulation of shared stocks in order to develop and strengthen frameworks for harmonization of minimum access conditions in African fisheries.
The meeting was jointly organized by the African Union Inter-African Animal Resources Bureau and the NEPAD Agency (under the FISH-Gov Fisheries Governance Project) and comprised with AU Member States, Regional Economy Communities, Regional Fisheries and management Bodies and Fisheries specialized journalists.
Mr Dedi gave a presentation on the Convention on the Minimum Conditions for Access to Resources in the zone of the Fisheries Committee of the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), adopted in 2013. He recalled that the objectives of the FCWC were aimed at strengthening cooperation between Member States in the sustainable management of fisheries resources in the waters under national jurisdiction, which necessitated the adoption of a convention on the minimum conditions for access to resources in the FCWC zone.
Mr Dedi shared that “the FCWC Convention establishes a coordinated and harmonious approach in the exploitation of fishery resources in the area by fishing vessels of the FCWC Member States and vessels of third States, by establishing minimum standards of access and exploitation of these resources, taking into account the particular situations of small-scale fisheries and coastal communities.” He further explained that the FCWC convention reiterates the definition of IUU fishing as adopted by the International Plan of Action to prevent, counteract and discourage IUU fishing (IPOA-IUU) and advocates the principles of precaution, participation and an eco-systemic approach to the management of fisheries resources.”
Through the establishment of a Regional Working Group to fight against IUU fishing, FCWC Regional cooperation measures have been reinforced by the adoption of a Convention on the sharing of information, the formulation of guidelines for the port of IMO numbers by fishing vessels operating in each of the Member States, training, awareness-raising actions for private actors, lawyers, support for the ratification of international instruments including AMREP, and the institution of information-sharing mechanisms between Member States.
The main objectives of the Expert Consultative Workshop were to develop a framework for Harmonized MTC and to operationalize the mechanism for coordinating common position and enhanced African voice for implementation of RFMOs recommendations and resolutions by AU MS within existing structures;
“In this regard, as far as the FCWC region is concerned the recommendations of the RFMOs and resolutions formulated by the Member States will be reinforced through ongoing projects including EU Funded PESCAO Project and the second phase of the WATF project supported by NORAD, towards monitoring of vessels flying the flags of FCWC member states, through the monitoring and surveillance center, as well as the implementation of the Regional Fisheries Management Plan, and the new FCWC plan to Combat IUU Fishing” said Mr Dedi.