June 2023 - Per Erik Bergh (CEO and Managing Director), Sandy Davies (Technical Director) and Andréa Durighello (Fisheries Expert) travelled to Antananarivo, Madagascar on the 1- 2 June 2023 to facilitate a national workshop aimed at setting up a national interagency mechanism for the effective implementation of the PSMA as well as complementary international instruments and regional mechanisms to combat IUU fishing. This new technical workshop facilitated by the NFDS team was organized by the FAO under the German-funded Port State Support Project (GCP/GLO/1047/GER).
Before the event, in May, the NFDS team visited selected ports to understand the structures in place as well as current needs of MCS staff on the ground for the effective conduct of their operations.
With around 25 workshop participants the NFDS team and the FAO re-emphasised the goal of the PSMA and other complementary instruments to fight IUU fishing and provided concrete examples on the benefits of interagency cooperation. The General Direction for the Blue Economy of the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy was also invited to contribute, to help draw a link between port state measures to fight IUU fishing and the wider national strategy of the blue economy. In that regard, the overview of the emerging “national blue economy and ocean governance cluster” shared by the General Direction was decisive in highlighting potential options for the institutional anchorage of an interagency mechanism.
Building on this strengthened understanding and on preliminary discussions from the previous consultations, the participants agreed on proposals for the establishment of an interagency mechanism and on concrete next steps to advance their implementation.
Parallel to this process, the NFDS team will also work with Madagascar’s MCS actors in the respective ports to help them acquire further tools for their MCS operations. Under the two-level interagency mechanism proposed by the actors, MCS officers in the different ports will act as the operational arm of the mechanism. Strengthening their operational capacities is therefore critical to ensure the effectiveness of the mechanism and is complementary to its ongoing institutional set-up.