MONROVIA, Montserrado – The director-general of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, Emma Glasco, says coastal West African states need to collaborate more to successfully combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
According to NaFAA, Glasco made the comment Tuesday, during the start of the ninth West Africa Task Force Meeting of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea, in Monrovia.
The committee aims to strengthen cooperation between Benin, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo in the management of fish resources under their respective jurisdictions.
While expressing Liberia’s gratitude for being the host of the meeting, Glassco told members of the committee that it is now the time for stronger collaboration in the areas of formulating regional observers’ program, conduct regional joint patrol and harmonization of vessel monitoring system as well as establishing the regional vessel registry.
“There is an urgent need to expatiate efforts beyond [the] national level to form synergies in combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities,” she said.
She challenged the countries to ensure that the program becomes achievable, noting that the committee has evolved beyond its infancy and must take up challenges and responsibilities, amidst the international support.
The Fisheries Authority boss also noted that international binding and voluntary fisheries instruments provide the basis and legal framework in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities and other fisheries-related crimes.
“Unfortunately, many nations including some member states, not excluding Liberia, are yet to conform to some of these instruments including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, [the] United Nations Fish Stock Agreement, [the] Agreement on Port State Measures among others,” she added.
She further urged member states to form synergies in events that may warrant hot pursuit against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessel.
Featured photo courtesy of NaFAA