September 2017 — Per Erik Bergh (Managing Director) represented the FISH-i Africa Task Force at the South West Indian Ocean Region’s seventh convention of the working party for collaboration and cooperation in tuna fisheries (WPCCTF). The meeting was held on the 11th and 12th September in Johannesburg, South Africa with participation of delegates from Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, and the United Republic of Tanzania attended the two-day meeting.
The meeting focused on the harmonisation of management of tuna fisheries and other highly migratory resources. “One major milestone achieved since the Tanzania meeting was the endorsement of the Minimum Terms and Conditions for fishing access. This is seen as an important milestone towards the sustainable management of fisheries in the SWIO region,” said WPCCTF chairperson, Hosea Gonza Mbilinyi.
Per Erik Bergh stressed the importance of the role that the countries of the South West Indian Ocean can now take in implementing this agreement. “Agreeing common Minimum Terms and Conditions in the SW Indian Ocean region is a major achievement, and places the opportunity and responsibility firmly in the hands of the countries. Ultimately we are working towards a binding agreement, but if the MTCs are promoted and pilot projects are considered, the implementation could start tomorrow rather than in 5 years time when the agreement may be binding.”
The meeting was organised by South West Indian Ocean Fishery Commission (SWIOFC), with the technical support of FAO and financial support of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) through the SWIOFish1 programme funded by the World Bank and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).