IUU fishing continues to undermine the development of sustainable marine fisheries in West Africa. The resulting environmental damage, high economic losses, and increasing levels of maritime insecurity make acting against IUU fishing a regional priority.

Current capacity to monitor fishing related activity in national exclusive economic zones is limited. By developing a RVMC it will be possible to monitor all fishing vessels flagged or licensed by FCWC Member States, on a regional VMS. This will give Member States without an existing VMS the opportunity to monitor vessels operating in their waters, and improve the ability of all Member States to monitor the highly mobile fleet active in the FCWC region.

Once fully established a regional system has the potential to provide significant cost savings to national authorities.

Based at the FCWC regional headquarters, but accessible to all FCWC member countries, the RVMC will:

  • Combine data from a regional Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) with Automatic Identification System (AIS) information, and visual data.
  • Monitor the position, speed, direction and activity of registered fishing vessels and support vessels. • Allow FCWC Member States to track and monitor fishing activities across the region

A dedicated FCWC administrator will operate the FCWC RVMC, and a secure system will be established to ensure protection of data and information. Each Member State will also have web-based access to the RVMC system.

Member States retain full control over the sharing of information relating to their flagged and licensed vessels. Data will be shared between FCWC Member States in accordance with the FCWC Convention on Data sharing, which was developed in recognition of the benefits for establishing regional information systems to collect, synthesise and disseminate fisheries information.