November 2022 – Per Erik Bergh (NFDS CEO) and JD Kotze (MCS Expert) participated in the tenth Southern African Development Community (SADC) Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Task Force (TF) meeting. The SADC TF meeting was held in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) training workshop on low-cost data collection and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) tools between 14 – 18 November 2022, in Cape Town, South Africa.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to share updates on MCS work in the region. The Multinational Program for Improving Fisheries Governance and Blue Economy Trade Corridors in SADC Region (PROFISHBLUE), approved in October 2021 and the Protocol of Agreement signed in December 2021 was discussed. Draft concept notes for Regional Register of Fishing Vessels; and Regional Coordination for Implementing Port State Measures were presented and considered at the meeting. Both these documents are vital for closing the region’s waters, ports, and markets to illegal operators. Thus, promoting sustainable and thriving fisheries that contribute to social, economic, and environmental objectives as set out in the SADC Vision 2050 and the global sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Per Erik Bergh of Stop Illegal Fishing said, ‘This was an opportunity for SIF to spend time with the States and partners to exchange information and lessons as well as to discuss ways we can support each other in our work.’
Participants included SADC Member States, the SADC Secretariat, the SADC Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre Interim Project Management Unit (MCSCC IPMU) and partner organisations including the African Development Fund (ADF), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the South-West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission, the E€OFISH programme, Vibrant Oceans Initiative, WWF, and Stop Illegal Fishing.
Support for SIF to attend the SADC meeting was kindly provided through a grant from The Waterloo Foundation and WWF.