February 2023 - Per Erik Bergh (CEO and Managing Director), JD Kotze (Investigator) and Andréa Durighello (Fisheries Expert) travelled to Cape Town, South Africa together with the Interim Project Management Unit (IPMU) of the SADC Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC).
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 South Africa as well as the two other countries of the Benguela Current Convention – Angola and Namibia – to develop strong engagement in the regional centre and through this contribute to regional efforts to stop illegal fishing.
The IPMU and SIF team met in Cape Town with management-level representatives of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), who welcomed the partnership offered by the SADC Atlantic project.
The meetings allowed to provide updates on the current mechanisms/instruments in place to support South Africa and other SADC countries in fighting IUU fishing in their waters and at the regional level. Enhancing the capacities of South Africa to engage fully in the work of the MCSCC is at the heart of the SADC Atlantic Project – based on the needs expressed by the country. The technical exchanges with the Department’s MCS managers that followed allowed to identify those needs and to define key priorities for the way forward – which will materialize in trainings starting in the next months.
The visit coincided with the organisation of consultations to determine a national strategy to prevent and combat the trade in illegally harvested South African abalone, in which the SIF also had the opportunity to participate.