November 2017 — Per Erik Bergh (Managing Director) represented the Stop Illegal Fishing Secretariat at the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Joint Meeting of Environment and Natural Resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Tourism held in Pretoria, South Africa.
Ministers progressed arrangements for the establishment of the SADC Regional Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC), and tasked the SADC Secretariat to explore closer cooperation with the Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) Secretariat by exploring the potential incorporation of FISH-i Africa into the MCSCC currently under development in Mozambique.
FISH-i Africa has been active since 2012, when the regional fisheries enforcement Task Force for countries bordering the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) became operational. By pooling information, coordinating actions and undertaking investigations, FISH-i has spearheaded a string of enforcement actions and increased compliance in the fisheries sector. The success of FISH-i Africa has been commended regionally and internationally as the value of working together and with increased transparency is shown to be effective in challenging illegal operators.
Per Erik Bergh commented, “We are excited by the development of the regional MCSCC, FISH-i has clearly demonstrated that information sharing between countries is a game-changer in tackling illegal fishing and routing out the persistent illegal operators. The opportunity to widen our network and strengthen the regional platforms for cooperation and collaboration in the fight against illegal fishing is to be welcomed.”