The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), a fisheries intergovernmental organization in Ghana, will be receiving a visit from a High-Level Delegation from the Government of Norway, led by Ms. Bjørg Sandkjær, the Norwegian State Secretary for International Development, and Ms. Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director-General of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), in the presence of Duncan Copeland, Executive Director of Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT), at its headquarters in Tema, Ghana on 25 November 2021.
On this occasion, the Delegation will discuss the key support Norway has been providing to support the FCWC West Africa Task Force, an initiative that built crucial regional cooperation and information sharing between the FCWC Member states (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo) and in their efforts to combat illegal fishing in the region.
The Norwegian Delegation will have the opportunity to learn more about the activities and impacts of the Task Force, and tour the recently established Regional Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance Center (RMCSC).
“As you are aware, the West Africa Task Force initiative has been supported by the Norwegian Government. Therefore, we are honored to receive this visit and discuss the way forward for our long-standing cooperation in improving fisheries governance in West Africa. We are confident that our collective achievements under the West Africa Task Force have formed a solid foundation of trust and has cemented the synergy between our institutions to deliver the sought-for results.
We are pleased to have this opportunity to speak face-to-face, and we keenly look forward to fruitful discussions on how our collaboration can advance into the future,” said Seraphin Dedi, FCWC Secretary-General.
“The support that Norway has provided to the FCWC West Africa Task Force has been crucial to the sub-region’s efforts to work together to combat and deter illegal fishing. Our cooperation with the FCWC and its Member States is an excellent demonstration of how governments, an inter-governmental organisation and non-governmental organisations can work together effectively on this issue.
We are grateful for Norway’s recognition and funding of this work, and welcome this excellent opportunity to discuss progress, challenges and opportunities on this crucial issue,’ said Duncan Copeland, TMT Executive Director.
The West Africa Task Force (WATF) was established in 2015 under the Fisheries Intelligence and MCS Support in West Africa project funded by Norad. The Task Force is facilitated by the FCWC Secretariat and supported by a Technical Team that includes Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) and Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF).
The WATF has operationalised key regional and international instruments to combat IUU fishing. It has strengthened regional information-sharing and cooperation between countries; interagency cooperation at the national level; and enforcement actions triggered by intelligence analysis and intelligence-sharing. The WATF has laid the foundation for longer term and sustained regional cooperation and increased fisheries compliance in the region.