The first official FISH‐i Africa Task Force meeting held in the new and permanent phase of the Task Force was hosted by the Government of Mozambique, and held in Maputo, Mozambique from the 1st to the 2nd of July 2014.
The pilot phase of FISH-i Africa began in late 2012 when five countries – Comoros, Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania – joined forces to tackle illegal fishing through this regional initiative. Six months later Madagascar and Mauritius joined the network. Following the completion of a successful year‐long pilot initiative the Task Force members elected to continue activities and to strengthen the Task Force to become a permanent inter‐governmental cooperation between the countries of the WIO.
Representatives of all seven FISH‐i Africa Task Force member countries attended the meeting alongside the FISH‐i Technical Team including representatives from Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), the Pew Charitable Trusts, Nordenfjeldske Development Services (NFDS), Fisheries Analytical Capacity Tank (FACT), the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and two regional experts.
The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries in Mozambique, Mr Hermenio Tembe, opening the meeting, congratulated FISH‐i Africa and its important role in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region. Highlighting Mozambique’s historically strong stance on IUU fishing and the tireless efforts of organisations like Stop Illegal Fishing the Permanent Secretary commended the cooperation and the success of the pilot year of FISH‐i Africa.