SADC Rigional Fisheries Monitoring
- Reference: P-Z1-AAF-008
- Appraisal Date: 31/12/2015
- Board Presentation: 14/06/2017
- Status: LendingLEND
- Implementing Agency: SADC - SOUTHERN AFRICA DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
- Location: Maputo, Mozambique
the Centre will be about coordinating and not controlling, with the following priority areas, that the SADC Ministers identified as requiring 'our urgent attention' in the SADC Statement of Commitment (2008):
*)Improving regional and inter-regional cooperation with a view to eradicating IUU fishing; *)Strengthening fisheries governance and legal frameworks to eliminate illegal fishing; *)Developing a regional MCS strategy and a regional plan of action in relation to IUU fishing; *)Strengthening fisheries MCS capacity.
The project will consist of four components: 1 Regional integration on fisheries issues 2 Support to sustainable natural resource development 3 Institutional capacity development 4 Project management
The Centre will be based around a collection of functions, tools and services that the members require to improve their capacity and capability - these are called 'services'. The following nine core service areas were identified as suitable services for the SADC Centre, in its expected capacity as the Technical Coordination Centre for SADC fishery MCS related issues.
Regional fishing vessel register A harmonised regional register of fishing vessels that operate within SADC state waters, or are flagged by SADC states. A SADC regional fishing vessel register (FVR) would be a database that contains agreed on 'minimum information' about fishing vessels that are operating in the region or that are flagged by SADC countries. This information would be shared by member States and possibly other entities as agreed, it may contain information about the physical characteristics of the vessels, the owners and operators, masters and provide a history of any changes in that information over time. The concept would be to capture information deemed useful to share about SADC fishing vessels in a single, easily assessable location.
The data itself could be uploaded by members via a secure web interface and data searches could be conducted by members, partners and authorised users upon request using an appropriate search tool. The database could start with a certain group of vessels, such as foreign licensed vessels, or vessels above a certain size. A regional FVR is one of the first steps towards regional compliance monitoring such as port State measures and conducting enforcement investigations and regional monitoring of vessel movements.
Regional fishing vessel monitoring system A regionally harmonised fishing vessel monitoring systems (VMS), to facilitate the sharing of national VMS information under agreed protocols. VMS has been a complicated and costly venture for most coastal SADC States, however, VMS technology has developed quite substantially over the last years and new solutions are now available. National options that link into regionally harmonised concepts can provide the necessary required national confidentiality as well as comply with regional agreed information sharing standards. Information from vessels can be stored securely, in a remote location, ensuring that no information will be lost or destroyed if local IT systems have technical software or hardware breakdowns, problems or virus issues. In addition, secure and reliable services can be added to ensure that additional information related to entry, exit and catch is distributed and stored safely without server downtime. In other words, no messages will be lost due to local internet services being down. New systems available can ensure that reliable and real-time VMS data available at any time as long as local internet services are operational and from any location and that no loss of historical VMS data occurs if local system is off-line data will be synchronised when online.
Fisheries MCS data and information sharing Sharing of fisheries MCS related data and information between SADC states, RFBs and other entities by agreed protocols. Data sharing will be essential if the SADC MCS Centre is to function in an effective and efficient manner. A data sharing 'agreement' will be one of the key operational and administrative aspects of the Centre to facilitate the sharing of data such as: fishing licence lists, surveillance reports and data, VMS data, observer data, fishing vessel log book information, fishing vessel violation history, fishing vessel access agreements and licence conditions. Data sharing can take place at many levels both informally and formally, but a data-sharing 'agreement' as a formal contract serves two purposes. First, it protects the agency providing the data, ensuring that the data will not be misused. Second, it prevents miscommunication on the part of the provider of the data and the agency receiving the data by making certain that any questions about data use are discussed.
Data-sharing is an important way to increase the ability of researchers, scientists and policy-makers to analyse and translate data into meaningful knowledge and advice to policy makers. While lack of data and information is a serious impediment for fisheries investigators. Sharing data discourages duplication of effort and encourages harmonisation and transparency, enabling researchers to validate one another's findings and for national, regional and international comparisons. Sharing of data and information can increase regional understanding and awareness.
Regional fisheries MCS information portal A central web based portal where fisheries MCS information can be accessed. The MCS Centre information portal would provide a single place to access information related to MCS for a range of players, possibly with different access levels, but with much of the information being 'open access'. This portal would provide a mechanism to enhance cooperation with regional entities, for example the BCC is developing a web portal and IOTC and SEAFO all have web based information tools of varying degrees of sophistication. The MCS Centre portal could also be beneficial on a continental scale, with possible links to the pan-African 'Stop Illegal Fishing' Working Group of NEPAD Agency's web portal to create an African 'hub' for MCS information . This would be a 'collection and access point' for states to both provide and access a range of information required to facilitate responsive decision making in MCS and to support continental cooperation and shared surveillance. The portal may be a useful service to promote regional and local content and awareness of the issues, to provide information on events, to provide documents, protocols, guidelines and legislation, updates of new technologies etc.
Regional fishery observer coordination The regional coordination and harmonisation of national observer standards, observers and observer reporting. Fishery observer programmes exist in some of the SADC countries. The benefit of a coordination function is that national and regional observer training activities and standards for training could be harmonised to allow observers from one country to work on vessels flagged or licensed by another. This is particularly relevant in the context of RFMO or RFBs. It could also improve the utilisation of observer data for MCS purposes by providing standard forms, guidelines, manuals etc. This service could also lead to the development of a database of trained fisheries observers whose qualifications (depending on the 'grade') make them suitable for deployment in a regional capacity.
Regional fisheries surveillance coordination The regional coordination of assets used for fisheries surveillance. Coordination of national surveillance assets in support of regional operations provides an efficient use of scare resources. SADC members have in the past joined forces to support one another in this way and have conducted successful, albeit ad-hoc fisheries joint patrols. This service if coordinated by the SADC MCS Centre would be better planned, with resources to support joint action and facilitated by experienced staff to support members in order to promote the most efficient use of available resources in an agreed manner. The advantages of a centralised coordination is that a single point for collection and distribution of information related to operational activities exists, that also facilitates coordination with the other regional entities and partners. It also offers added benefits such as support to search and rescue needs through improved communication and coordination during surveillance activities and operations.
Fisheries law enforcement and legal support The coordination and provision of advice and support for fishery law enforcement activities. This service would provide support to national law enforcement efforts possibly through fisheries enforcement advice and practical experience that could be centrally managed or coordinated. It may provide members with links to international resources and assistance via the fisheries MCS information portal and experts in the Centre. An option under this service would be the development of a violations and prosecutions data base and support to harmonise fisheries legislation. In the long term an experienced fisheries enforcement officer could be attached to the Centre to support members with their investigations and case preparations upon demand, and when necessary travel to countries to assist in cases. This would increase capacity immediately at the national level and also improve national capability through on-job-training and specialised coaching.
Port state measures support Facilitation and support towards implementation of standards and capacity building for port state measures. The success of port state measures to detect and deal with suspected IUU fishers is potentially a cost-effective approach, but its success hinges on wide and effective application. In relation to this, Article 21 of the FAO Agreement is of great importance as it aims to establish mechanisms for assisting developing countries in implementing the Agreement. The MCS Centre could provide a service to member States to provide the coordination and liaison functions required to implement PSMs between member States and relevant RFMOs and other organizations, including the FAO. SADC Members could get support in implementing a range of elements involved in taking port State measures including information, procedures, communications, investigations and training.
Build and support national MCS capacity to facilitate regional integration This service can be described as: The provision and support of institutional and human capacity building to improve national MCS capability. One of the services that the SADC MCS Centre could support is capacity building in national MCS to support compliance with fisheries management frameworks and associated measures at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. It is vital that all regional actions are developed with the specific aim of improving national MCS outcomes (and therefore fisheries management) and this should include a large focus on capacity, as this is an identified national weakness in many countries. Options under this service could include; attachments from SADC members to the SADC MCS Centre, which c ould provide both capacity building and awareness about the Centre as well as supporting the Centre in work capacity; developing training material and training modules; coordinating and delivering training courses and workshops; coordinating with other agencies and partners to support training; facilitating regional courses, bursaries and exchanges.
Illegal fishing eliminated in southern Africa through improved regional and inter-regional cooperation, fisheries governance and legal frameworks and national MCS capacity.
Fighting IUU fishing has become an important agenda item in international fishery discussions and one that Southern Africa is becoming more vocal in. Awareness that combating IUU fishing requires the application of different types of tools, and that these tools cannot be used in isolation or by countries in isolation is fuelling the discussions. Some of the most important tools being discussed are; *)The Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA); *)The discussions on Flag State Performance and the need for international guidelines on criteria for assessing the performance of flag; *)The market state measures (e.g. catch and/or trade documentation schemes); and *)The Technical Consultation to Identify a Structure and Strategy for the Development and Implementation of the Global Record (vessel database). The engagement of the region and the value of the Centre in coordinating input to international discussions such as these is an important aspect for consideration and a potential far reaching benefit for member States.
All of the SADC countries belong to regional policy processes relating to fisheries outside of the SADC. These will be important to building cooperation in the region through the Centre. The EEZs surrounding the region fall into two regional management bodies that of the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) and the Benguela Current Commission (BCC), while the areas outside of the EEZs but adjacent to the SADC EEZs fall into the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO), Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA), and CCAMLR for general fisheries management and International Convention on the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) for tuna and tuna like species (also within the EEZ but only for highly migratory species). For inland fisheries the main bodies of importance are the FAO Committee for Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture of Africa (CIFAA), the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), the Lake Tanganyika Authority and the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF).
The Centre will also fall within the context of the wider continental framework of the African Union (AU) and NEPAD Agency and other African countries that are not in SADC, but are important neighbours for fisheries issues will also need to be considered.
Considering the above summaries, it can thus be considered that the diversity in the SADC countries fisheries and MCS activity contexts will provide some challenges with regard to coordination and cooperation of regional MCS efforts. However, although each national context is quite unique, there are opportunities for lesson-learning and sharing of best practices. Countries can learn from each other and thereby improve their capacities. Working together to combat IUU fishing in the region is likely to also highlight similarities and shared problems, which will inevitably inspire shared solutions and greater fishery derived benefits.
The project will help in the regional fight agains IUU fishing/fisheries crime. This will allow a more robust approach towards sustainable natural resource management of the fishery resources, and will result in more income for the fishery related communities.
TOUNKARA Samba Bocary - RDGS2