In the framework of the EU-funded programme PESCAO, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) provided a national training on fisheries law and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for legal officers in the Gambia at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, in Banjul.
The three-day training, held from 18 to 20 October 2023, allowed legal officers of the Ministry of Justice, The Gambia Navy, the Gambia Maritime Administration, and the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources to become aware of the impact of IUU fishing in West Africa and be aware of all legal instruments available for fighting against it.
The training consisted of theory sessions and practical exercises to improve the knowledge and build capacity regarding international, regional, and national legislation related to the fight against IUU fishing. The last training session entailed a field visit to the Ministry’s Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Unit and the Banjul Fisheries Jetty. The participants had the chance to see the Gambian Fisheries Monitoring Centre, and took part in a port inspection, to get acquainted with the actual experience of fisheries control, which will prove very useful when enforcing the law and prosecuting offenses related to IUU fishing.
This training has been organised in the framework of the EU-funded PESCAO programme, in which EFCA participates providing training, legal and technical assistance to the Subregional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), and the Fisheries Committee of the West and Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), as well as their Member States.
EFCA is a European Union agency. The agency’s mission is to promote the highest common standards for control, inspection, and surveillance under the European Union Common Fisheries Policy. The EFCA will function at the highest level of excellence and transparency with a view to developing the necessary confidence and cooperation of all parties involved and, in so doing, to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.
The PESCAO programme aims, amongst other objectives, at improving regional fisheries governance in Western Africa to fight illegal fishing, and to maintain healthy fish stocks in a region of the world where fishing remains one of the main sources of protein and livelihoods, therefore alleviating poverty and improving food security.