The Joint Analytical Cell (JAC), a new partnership of organizations that aim to tackle IUU fishing, is working with the FCWC Secretariat and Member States to provide usable, actionable data and intelligence to improve the targeting of vessel checks and inspections and to spur enforcement action.
The founding members of the JAC: the International Monitoring Control and Surveillance Network (IMCSCN), Global Fishing Watch (GFW) and TMT, are harnessing their complementary expertise, tools and resources to improve ocean governance.
One of the major challenges in the fight to combat IUU fishing has been access to data, technology, and analytics, at scale. In times past, the costs have been prohibitive, logistics have been complicated, and capacity has often been lacking. The JAC will become a hub for sharing intelligence, making sense of multiple technology and data offerings, and providing operational support and training.
The FCWC cooperation with the JAC will build on the long-standing cooperation between the FCWC Secretariat, the FCWC Member States, and TMT, who have been working together to combat IUU fishing in the sub-region since 2015 through the FCWC West Africa Task Force and the recent establishment of the FCWC Regional MCS Centre. At the recent 12th Meeting of the West Africa Task Force in Lagos, Nigeria, where the JAC was presented and endorsed by the Member States, it was agreed that TMT would continue to be the lead partner and communication point for JAC engagement with the FCWC.
FCWC Secretary-General Seraphin Dedi commented, “The access that the JAC will provide will without doubt build upon and greatly improve the success that we have already experienced, through the development of the West Africa Task Force, in fisheries intelligence gathering and sharing, capacity building and operation support. During 2022 the FCWC has had a special focus on Using innovative technology to increase oversight of safe, fair and legal fishing. We have seen and are benefiting from technology that has enabled us to overcome some of our challenges with access to information and data, and we want to promote the development of further technology to do the same or better.’
Duncan Copeland, TMT Executive Director, noted that ‘the FCWC Secretariat and Member States continue to demonstrate their commitment and leadership in national and regional efforts to combat IUU fishing. We hugely value our long-term partnership, and we are excited for the opportunities that the Joint Analytical Cell brings to further augment and assist our mutual efforts. The West Africa Task Force is already a positive global example of the benefits of State and non-State actor cooperation on counter-IUU fishing efforts, and this step further strengthens that model.’