Region monitors fisheries

Patrols have already been undertaken on the waters of South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique under Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s maritime monitoring programme.

Supported by air surveillance, inspectors also patrolled the waters of Namibia and Angola, with results showing that surveillance activities are critical to ensuring fishing vessels comply with laws.

Many of them had been found flouting the regulations resulting in fines and prosecutions.

The monitoring activities are in line with the SADC Protocol on Fisheries whose priorities include management of shared resources, law enforcement, access agreements, high seas fishing and protection of the environment. An initial monitoring exercise, which was conducted last year, tested the control systems in the countries involved inorder to address any weaknesses so that fisheries surveillance throughout the region could be improved.

Meanwhile, African governments are seeking to improve fish market chains and to increase benefits from the fish trade following the adoption of the Abuja Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture last year.

An investment of US$30 million in the recently launched NEPAD-World Fish Programme for Sustainable African Aquaculture is expected to increase Africa’s fish production by 10 percent annually to about 3 million tonnes over the next 15 years.

The Abuja Declaration embraces the principles of the Nepad vision for Africa’s development which encompasses poverty eradication, achieving food security and building of foundations of sustainable development in the region. ‘ New Ziana.

June 2006
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