March 2023 - Per Erik Bergh (CEO and Managing Director), JD Kotze (Investigator) and Andréa Durighello (Fisheries Expert) travelled to Walvis Bay, Namibia, together with the Interim Project Management Unit of the SADC Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre. This 3-day visit was conducted as part of the project SADC Atlantic, a US-funded project of the SADC and the SADC MCSCC, which aims at supporting Namibia as well as the two other countries of the Benguela Current Convention – Angola and South Africa – to develop strong engagement in the regional centre and through this contribute to regional efforts to stop illegal fishing.
The team engaged with staff from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), drawn from management and MCS officials from Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. The objective of these meetings was to jointly identify support that could be provided to Namibia, based on needs expressed by those actors, revolving around the project’s four core areas. These needs will set the framework of cooperation within the SADC Atlantic project, and materialize in trainings starting in the next months.
Dedicated meetings also took place with the Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC), Fisheries inspectors and the Fisheries Observer Agency (FOA), to better assess the current capacity and support the prioritization of capacity-building needs to be provided as part of the project.
Those meetings also provided the occasion to introduce practical exercises, which will form part of the future trainings, including AIS monitoring, risk assessments for vessels requesting entry into port as well as the use of body-worn video cameras during fishing inspections.