Illegal fishing and fishing offenses undermine fisheries management and deprives people in developing countries of sources of food and income.
"Our coasts and maritime areas are full of enormous potentialities, but it is recurring that the activity in our maritime areas is therefore subject of a lot of illicit trafficking", regrets Seraphin Dedi, General Secretary of the Committee of Fisheries Central West of the Gulf of Guinea (FCWC).
The harmful consequences of illegal fishing are recognized by the United Nations, who set an ambitious goal of ending it by 2020 as part of Goal 14 of sustainable development. Met in Lome, on November 30 for their 11th conference, member ministers of FCWC hammered the need to protect their coast
"If we successfully manage our fish resources, we should be able to support our populations instead of importing. To do so, we need to work together to protect our fish resources from illegal fishermen," says Heineken Lokpobiri, Nigerian Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, also president of FCWC Ministerial Conference.
On the other hand, Togo's Minister of Agriculture, Ouro-Koura AGADAZI adds that "the management of fisheries resources can only be effective if countries sharing the same stocks of fish species cooperate in the fields of research, monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries."
He therefore invited his peers to "reflect on a regional licensing mechanism and also to establish a common observer program on fishing vessels licensed to fish in our space. "
Before this session, experts from member States and Partner of FCWC reviewed 2018 achievements and outlined prospects for the sustainability of the fisheries sector.
In 2018, FCWC was selected as the implementing agency by ECOWAS for the implementation of Component 2 of the West Africa Fisheries Governance Improvement Program.
The Committee of Fisheries Central West of the Gulf of Guinea is headquartered in Ghana. Composed by Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo, it works for the ending of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.