From 2 to 4 October 2019 in Praia, Cape Verde, officials from the Fisheries Monitoring Centres (FMCs) of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau have participated in a workshop which overall objective was to strengthen the knowledge and usability of vessel monitoring systems (VMS), Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and other control technologies such as satellite imagery.
The workshop is expected to improve the knowledge of the operators of the Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau Fisheries Monitoring Centres with a view to the proper implementation of national and regional fisheries conservation and management measures. Following this training, participants will better understand the operation of VMS / AIS systems as fishery control tools, which adds value to the strengthening of the control, monitoring and surveillance programs in the region.
Set up and organised by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), this workshop aimed to support the capacities of competent national and regional monitoring, control and surveillance authorities to deter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU), which is one of the components of the PESCAO programme, financed and implemented since 2018 by the European Union (EU).
The Republic of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau are responsible for performing Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in its own national waters in order to support the implementation of fisheries conservation and management measures adopted both at national and regional level.
The Improved regional fisheries governance in Western Africa project, otherwise known as PESCAO, is a 15 Million Euro initiative. It supports activities at ECOWAS level, scientific researches in West Africa and surveillance reinforcement in the Sub-regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) and Fishery Committee of the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC). The project PESCAO comprises a grant to the European Fisheries Control Agency and the Sub Regional Fisheries Commission of which the Republic of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau are active members.
The objective of the PESCAO project is to enhance the contribution of fisheries resources to food security and poverty alleviation in West Africa. There are 3 project results as follows:
- A Western African fisheries and aquaculture policy is developed and coordination of regional stakeholders is improved,
- the Prevention of and responses to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing are strengthened through improved regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and
- Marine resources management at the regional level is improved and resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems to perturbations is enhanced.