A symposium to address the 'Trends and Impact of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) Fishing in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG)' will come off from 15th to 17th May 2023, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Oganised by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Danish Government, the three-day symposium will bring together stakeholders, including government, academia, civil society, and the private sector, to discuss the nature, scope, and impact of IUU fishing in the region.
The symposium will provide a platform for stakeholders to share experiences, best practices, and strategies towards sustainable fishing in the GoG.
It will be held within the framework of the KAIPTC and the Danish Government's five-year project (2022-2026) on Integrated Responses to Threats to Maritime Safety and Security in the GoG Maritime Domain in West and Central Africa.
The symposium seeks to provide a platform for maritime stakeholders in the GoG to better understand the maritime security landscape, deepen their collaboration and coordination, and pool individual and collective resources in an effort to strengthen maritime security.
Among others, it will increase awareness of the trends and magnitude of IUU fishing in the GoG; highlight the economic, environmental, and social impacts of IUU fishing in the GoG and discuss measures such as recommended policies and approaches in addressing IUU fishing in the GoG.
Also, the symposium will identify opportunities for sustainable fisheries management and development in GoG and improve understanding of the legal and institutional framework for addressing IUU fishing in the GoG.
The symposium's outcomes will provide valuable insights for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and other actors involved in the fisheries sector in GoG.
Additionally, it will provide a valuable opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue, share experiences, and explore innovative solutions to the challenges posed by IUU fishing in the Gulf of Guinea.
The effort to curb illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing activities has been a significant concern for the global fishing industry in the GoG.
The IUU fishing refers to fishing activities that are conducted in violation of national laws and international agreements or regulations and the GoG's coastal waters have been subject to IUU fishing practices for many years, resulting in significant economic, environmental, and social impacts.
It is also one of the most important fishing grounds in the world, which supports the livelihoods of millions of people in the region.
In the coastal communities of the GoG, fish is vital to food security. However, pollution, climate change, human population growth, and illegal and excessive fishing existentially threaten this resource.
The illegal nature of IUU fishing and the lack of reliable data makes it difficult to accurately scope the extent of the problem, but a range of estimates suggest that between 40 and 65 percent of fish caught in the region are caught illegally.
Therefore, 'the symposium will contribute to ongoing efforts to promote sustainable fishing practices and ensure the long-term viability of the vital resource,' a statement by the KAIPTC said, ahead of the three-day symposium in Abidjan.
Source: Ghana News Agency