FISH-i Africa participated in a stakeholder’s consultative workshop for the validation of the Framework for Institutional Collaboration on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO), held in Gaborone, Botswana from the 7th – 9th March 2018, organised by the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and with support from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Regional organisations active in fisheries MCS in the South West Indian Ocean region were represented at the event, including relevant regional economic communities, regional fisheries bodies, as well as ongoing regional projects and other organizations like FISH-i Africa, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), SmartFish, Stop Illegal Fishing and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Participants gave input on the institutional role of the various Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in fisheries and MCS initiatives and discussed their potential to play a role in addressing IUU fishing, particularly through information sharing.

Sandy Davies, Stop Illegal Fishing Coordinator, stated, “Stop Illegal Fishing is happy to be involved in this continental process to improve MCS collaboration, and we are pleased to be able to provide evidence-based advice to relevant stakeholders, particularly from our experience with the FISH-i Africa Task Force and the case analyses presented to them. We hope to continue to work closely with all the partners in future.”

Senior Fisheries Officer at AU-IBAR, Dr Mohamed Seisay stated, “This is a rare occasion when all the relevant RECs and partners in the region were able to meet to discuss important issues relating to illegal fishing and MCS in the region and on the continent. If cooperation continues in this spirit then there will be a paradigm shift, with African experts and stakeholders progressing towards an end to illegal fishing and related issues in the region.”