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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
South Africa fisheries ministers agree to fight illegal fishing
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global issue with many harmful environmental, economic and social impacts. The need for strengthened fisheries governance at national and regional levels has been increasingly recognised by the international community as well as the NEPAD action plan for the development of African fisheries and aquaculture, as one of the main requirements if IUU fishing is to stop.
In response to this need, and as a follow-on action from the International High Seas Task Force, the UK Government has committed to support an African policy process to tackle IUU fishing.
As the first step in this process, Dr Abraham Iyambo, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Namibia, has led the way on behalf of the coastal states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by gaining support from the UK to overcome IUU fishing in the region.
As part of the programme to support the policy process of implementing the SADC Protocol on Fisheries in relation to tackling illegal fishing, a ministerial conference took place in Windhoek, Namibia, from 2-4 July 2008.
In a statement of commitment (SoC) at the conference, the SADC Ministers of Marine Fisheries declared the following as priority areas requiring urgent attention:
* To improve regional cooperation with a view to eradicate IUU fishing;
* To strengthen fisheries governance and legal frameworks to eliminate illegal fishing;
* To develop a regional monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) strategy and regional plan of action in relation to IUU fishing; and
* To strengthen fisheries MCS capacity.
To address these priorities, the Ministers agreed to:
* Support each other in the development and implementation of national plans of action against IUU fishing as vital building blocks to enable each member state to participate in sub-regional, regional and Pan-African and international actions against illegal fishing;
* Explore the possibility of a regional MCS support centre as a mechanism to facilitate cooperation as well as creating awareness in relation to IUU situation in the SADC region;
* Involve the entire chain of processors, traders, transporters and consumers in the undertaking to stop illegal fishing, in order to ensure that only fish that is legally harvested enters the value chain;
* Establish a strong system of governance by allowing all stakeholders -- including civil society and non-state organisations -- to play a role in fighting illegal fishing;
* Up-scale the experiences from marine fisheries to the fight against illegal fishing in the freshwater (inland) fisheries of the SADC region.
As the host of the Windhoek conference, Dr. Iyambo, called on SADC member states to increase intra-regional trade in fish and fishery products in order to grow the role of fisheries in regional economic integration.
The Deputy Minister of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, reiterated the NEPAD principle that all African (fisheries) resources should be utilised for African development and benefit; and therefore, our failure to combat IUU robs our coastal communities of their food security and opportunities for livelihood.
The Minister of Livestock Development and Fisheries in Tanzania, John Magufuli called on the African Union to establish a Pan-African ministerial committee to deal with illegal fishing.
It is estimated that sub-Saharan Africa loses approximately US$1billion annually through fish stolen from its territorial waters.
During the meeting the representative of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Mrs. Brit Fisknes, announced that the Government of Norway has committed US$9.5million for the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem, a programme covering the Atlantic ocean shared by Angola, Namibia and South Africa.
Tim Bostock, representing the UK Department for International Development (DFID) confirmed the UKs commitment to continue supporting African fisheries development through the NEPAD-CAADP framework as outlined in the NEPAD action plan for the development of African fisheries and aquaculture.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Fisheries from Mauritius (Dr. Arvin Boolell), Mozambique (Cadmiel Mutemba), Tanzania (John P. Magufuli), Zanzibar (Burhan Saadat Haji); Deputy Minister from South Africa (Rejoice Mabudafhasi), government representatives from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Madagascar, as well as more than 100 government delegations, representatives of sub-regional and regional fisheries management organisations, civil society, non-governmental organisations, foundations and fishing/processing companies.
Impacts/Development, communities and livelihoods
Issues/Governance / management
Issues/Monitoring, control and surveillance
Political processes/African Union / New Partnership for Africa's Development
Political processes/Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Africa/Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)