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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Regional conference to stop illegal fishing opens
THE Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture is hosting a ministerial conference for southern Africa today to discuss the best way to curb illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing practices in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
According to a study prepared for the three-day conference, SADC IUU fishing accounts for approximately N$8 billion per annum in losses of revenue for sub-Saharan Africa.
"SADC countries signed a fisheries protocol back in 2001 and this includes protection of this valuable natural resource, but IUU fishing sabotages all efforts of responsible fishing, managing fish stocks and generating income," said Dr Abraham Iyambo, Fisheries Minister, when announcing the holding of the conference on Friday.
"Foreign vessels operate under flags of convenience, meaning they register with countries that do not worry about any control regarding what these vessels do.
There are also countries at which ports the illegally caught fish is landed and sold."
Fisheries ministers of six countries, Australia, Canada, Chile, Namibia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom a few years ago decided to establish a task force to advise them and finalise an action plan to curb IUU fishing in the round by focusing on all its aspects economic, criminal, legal, scientific and environmental.
Coastal SADC states of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania will attend the Windhoek conference, with seven Ministers to join.
They will map out plans for regional satellite vessel monitoring and improved capacity for coastal SADC states to better control fishing.
The way forward will be made public on Friday and next month SADC heads of state are expected to approve the action plan at their annual summit.
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Political processes/Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Africa/Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
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Ocean Areas/South Atlantic Ocean