From 18 April to 2 May 2021, in the framework of the EU-funded Program PESCAO, EFCA supported the joint control operation “Stingray” organised by the Subregional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), a regional fisheries body based in Dakar (Senegal) that brings together 7 Western African countries to enhance the sustainable management of fisheries resources in the area.
The operation covered the waters of Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, and Sierra Leone, with the SRFC coordination centre established in Freetown (Sierra Leone). The operation counted also on the Senegalese Navy vessel “Fouladou”, with fisheries inspectors from the three partaking countries on board, and local patrol vessels. EFCA experts participated remotely, given the current circumstances related to the covid-19 pandemic.
EFCA participated by the charter of an aircraft for aerial surveillance and the provision of satellite information throughout the whole joint control operation including monitoring the Sierra Leonese fisheries closure period starting on 1 May 2021.
Sightings of fishing vessels and detection of potential non-compliance events provided valuable information for the SRFC to make informed decisions regarding the fishing vessels to be inspected by the patrol vessels.
“Stingray” is the 7th joint operation carried out under the framework of the EU-funded PESCAO program, to which EFCA participates providing technical assistance to the Subregional Fisheries Commission (SRFC) and the Ghana-based Fisheries Committee of the West and Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC-SRFC), and their Member States.
The PESCAO program aims, amongst other objectives, at improving regional fisheries governance in Western Africa to fight illegal fishing, to maintain healthy fish stocks in a region of the world where fishing remains one of the main sources of protein and livelihoods.
¨SRFC joint fisheries control operation “Stingray” in Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone was a real success. EFCA is proud of having contributed to this enhanced SRFC joint operation aiming at deterring illegal fishing, ¨ said Pascal Savouret, EFCA Executive Director.
 Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.