MAURITIUS (Somalilandsun) – A sum of 1.063.700 million Euro’s was granted by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) through the Smartfish Programme to reinforce the existing efforts in joint fisheries surveillance in the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria in Africa. Thanks to European Union financial support, Seychelles, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania will go towards strengthen their Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) plan.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing threatens the sustainability of the resources of the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria holds the most important source of fresh water fish for the African continent, contributing significant income towards the riparian state economies (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) and also adjacent countries.
“The merging of means and resources combined with coherent coordination were key to the success of IOC fisheries monitoring programs” said, Léon Martial Razaka, IOC’s Officer in Charge. He further states that “Achievements have to be fortified while highlighting the assets of each country”
Thanks to this support, additional efforts will be made to strengthen surveillance operations, examples would be; 30 days supplementary sea patrols for the Seychelles and 58 days for Madagascar. Collaboration between countries is also expanding since, in addition to five Member States of the IOC, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania are added.
“Joint patrol operations undertakings in Lake Victoria are important since the lake is a shared water body between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda” states Mr. Baraka Mngulwi, the Assistant Director Fisheries Resource Protection in Tanzania ” Through Grant support, we will be able to increase the number of joint operations in the Lake both in water and on land against IUU fishing and illegal fish trade. This will further strengthen collaboration with the partner states through Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, a regional fisheries institution in this lake mandated to sustain the Lake Fisheries resources. Working together in the management of the fisheries resources will also improve good governance within the sector” he continues
The funding was granted after the concerned countries sought their demand through a grant procedure which show their commitment to engage their services towards regional Fisheries MCS cooperation. They will each receive: 349,834 euro (Madagascar), 294 200 euros (Seychelles), 262,257 euros (Kenya) and 162 264 euros (Tanzania)
The Smartfish programme is one of the largest Programme for Fisheries in Africa. One of Smartfish most important component is the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) of the African region compromising of the Eastern, Southern African and Indian Ocean. In these regions alone, 3,5 million people life’s depend fully or impartially on fishing.
For information Contact :
The Communication Officer Ms Toky Rasoloarimanana
email@example.com or visit www.smartfish-coi.org
What is SmartFish
SmartFish is a regional programme financed by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), with a total financial contribution of Euro 21 million for the first of two implementation phases.
The first phase of the Programme will be implemented over a period of 31 months (March 2011-September 2013).
The programme is implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Two of the five results of the programme are being implemented by Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Other regional institutions involved include the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the regional fisheries management organisations of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC), the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO) and the Lake Tanganyika Fisheries Authority (LTA).
Area of Operations
SmartFish is one of the biggest regional programmes for fisheries in Africa. There are 20 beneficiary countries under the programme: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia/Somaliland, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique, Reunion Island and South Africa are participating, although not as beneficiary countries.