Moves to monitor fishing in Gulf of Guinea

The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), an inter-governmental organisation, which focuses on the fisheries sector, has set up a Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Center (RMCSC).

This is to enable the country to effectively monitor fishing and its related activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

Scheduled to be launched on May 12, 2021, the centre among other things, would co-ordinate regional and joint operations at sea, and patrols to identify vessels operating without authorisation as well as build capacities of stakeholders in the fisheries sector.

It was established and funded under the European Union Improved Regional Fisheries project, aimed at enhancing the contribution of fisheries resources, targeted at alleviating poverty and encouraging food security.

The five-year project with a budget of 15 million Euros is being implemented by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, which allows member states to track and monitor fishing activities across the region.

The General Secretary of FCWC, Seraphin Dedi, said the centre will host a regional record of authorised fishing vessels, to maintain an up to date and easy to access list of authorised and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) listed vessels.

“The centre brings us a step closer to having co-ordinated approaches to joint action, including patrols from better security in the maritime domain of our region” he stated.

Mr Dede said the establishment of the RMCSC fulfils a number of long sought after goals, including improving national and regional capacity in fisheries enforcement, greater information sharing to reduce costs to member states.

The goals are also increasing oversight of vessel activity to address global challenges in combating illegal unreported and regulated fishing and related fisheries crimes.

Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, European Union delegation to Ghana, Diana Acconcia and FCWC Chairperson Gaston Bossouhoui would attend the launch.

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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