The FCWC-West Africa Task Force meeting focuses on Improving Strategies to Combat Illegal Fishing

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PRESS RELEASE


For Immediate Release

LOME (5th - 7th June 2018) – The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) is hosting a 3-day meeting to further advance the fight against illegal fishing in the West Africa region with strong commitment and support from Government of the Republic of Togo, the hosting Country.

The improvement of fisheries governance toward interagency cooperation, implementation of regional plans of action to combat IUU and sustainable management of the fisheries resources will be addressed. Participants in this meeting include Directors of Fisheries, Heads of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) from each FCWC member country, and representatives of organizations like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP) among others.

“This 6th West Africa Task Force meeting aims at reviewing the strategy to combat illegal fishing and fisheries crime at the region level, reviewing countries’ commitment at the national level toward the strengthening of interagency cooperation, sharing experiences and introducing to participants the new, EU funded PESCAO project in support of the region,” Secretary-General of the FCWC, Seraphin Dedi stated.

This meeting is also to identify activities and develop action plans for the implementation of regional instruments such as the Strategy to Combat Illegal Transshipment At Sea, the Regional Fisheries Management Plan, the Additional Protocol on Information Sharing and the Regional Plan of Action to Combat Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (RPOA-IUU) Fishing.

The success of the West Africa Task Force (WATF) has drawn other initiatives to implement projects in the region, including the Improving Fisheries Governance in West Africa – PESCAO project funded by the European Union for a period of four years. It is therefore planned for discussion to review the opportunities for collaboration and to further identify synergies between already implemented projects in the region like the ‘Fisheries Intelligence and Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Support in West Africa’ project supporting the West Africa Task Force.

The West Africa Task Force (WATF) initiative brings together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Bénin, 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), 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.

For further information, please visit www.fcwc-fish.org; www.tm-tracking.org; www.stopillegalfishing.com.

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