The “Fisheries intelligence and MCS support in West Africa” initiative was presented at the last FCWC 7th ministerial conference held in December 2014. Funded by the Norwegian Development Agency Norad, the project is being implemented within the FCWC members States (Togo, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria) and aims to contribute to more effective governance of regional fisheries resources in West Africa through a reduction of illegal fishing.
The project aims to operationalize the FCWC recent Convention on Information Sharing and build on FCWC existing initiatives in the region. This new project will support regional collaboration; improve access to and use of fisheries intelligence, and strengthened MCS planning and operations.
Key components of the project are:
Establishment of a Task Force made up of MCS representatives of the participating countries. The Task Force will be supported by a Technical Team of regional and international experts, and be supported with a common communications platform for intelligence exchange and cooperation.
Operational capacity building allowing national fisheries authorities in West Africa to be able to effectively act on fisheries intelligence to improve compliance of national and international fisheries regulations.
The Coordination Team (CT) of the project comprises of the FCWC secretariat, Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) and Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), who met at the FCWC Secretariat in Tema, 24 and 25 February 2015. The coordination Team (CT) discussed and reviewed the project arrangement for its smooth implementation and adopted a summary paper of the project as well as a first year strategic work plan for 2015
The “Fisheries intelligence and MCS support in West Africa” project is built on the model of the successful FISH-i Africa initiative in the Western Indian Ocean, and provides another important step in the ongoing improvements in capacity and cooperation on fisheries in the region. It is further contributing to the reinforcement and strengthening of regional mechanisms and national fisheries enforcement capacity.