Regional Fisheries Taskforce Ends Meeting

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The Sixteen Regional Meeting of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), West Africa Task Force (WATF) has ended in Liberia with the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority reaffirming Liberia’s commitment to the fight against illegal, unreported and Unregulated fishing. Madam Emma Metieh Glassco disclosed during the meeting that Liberia through the Fisheries Authority has made tremendous efforts in the fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the West Central Gulf of Guinea. Madam Glassco mentioned the development of a National Action Plan (NPA) to combat IUU fishing the development of a Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance (MCS) Manual, and also the training of several MCS staff as efforts the Fisheries Authority has made to mitigate illegal fishing.  At the same time, she welcomed members of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) and other high-level Guests to Liberia during the conduct of the Sixteenth Regional meeting of the FCWC West Africa Task Force (WATF) to end illegal fishing. The Liberian Fisheries Expert noted that hosting of fisheries task force meeting in Monrovia was a clear indication of Liberia’s interest in combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing activities. Also making remarks during the conduct of the Sixteen Regional Meeting held in Monrovia, the Secretary General of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea Dr. Antoine Gaston Djihinto noted that the meeting marked the beginning of the project’s third phase and provides member States an opportunity to review the techniques, materials, and financial means to achieve the organization’s goals. Commenting on the impact the FCWC Taskforce has had on the overall success of the organizations, Dr. Djihinto mentioned that the it has helped operationalize FCWC convention, established mechanisms to strengthen cooperations, ensure capacity building for national administrations, and introduce practices and processes that are share and integrated into international processes. He thanked the Norwegian Agency for Cooperation for what its financial support, as well as ECOWAS and FCWC’s technical financial partners for their valuable support. “I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the Norwegian Agency for Cooperation for its financial support, as well as ECOWAS and our technical and financial partners for their support”. During the sixteenth meeting, the Executive Director of TMT Mr. Duncan Copeland was honored for his unwavering support to FCWC and all its member States.   Additional, during the meeting the other Member States pledged their commitment to fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated, IUU fishing in the West Central Gulf of Guinea. Meanwhile, the WATF meeting brought together the six member countries of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) – Benin, 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 TMT and 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.

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