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FAO in Mozambique

Member States of the South West Indian Ocean Commission discuss the Management of Tuna Fishery in the Region

Delegates from Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, and the United Republic of Tanzania attended the two-day meeting
21/09/2018

The Member States of the South West Indian Ocean Commission (SWIOFC) met for three days to update and harmonize the strategy for the sustainable management of tuna and other migratory species. The meeting that took place in Maputo City from 19th to 21st September this year constitutes the eighth session of the Working Party for Collaboration and Cooperation in Tuna Fisheries (WPCCTF).

"More than a decade ago, the WPCCTF was established by the SWIOFC members to specifically deal with matters regarding tuna and other highly migratory species. This working party has led to harmonization a vision on the sustainable management of these resources, allowing SWIOFC members to prepare, organize, and inform the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meetings with a more common voice", said the chairperson of the WPCCTF, Hosea Gonza Mbilinyi.

Mbilinyi added that "the Key milestones achieved since the WPCCTF establishment, include the work on merging the SWIO Accord with the SWIOFC Fisheries Framework Agreement.
These are part of the ongoing technical and political processes at the level of the South West Indian Ocean region over the last decade. The establishment of the working group has been a key forum for strengthening regional cooperation to ensure sustainable fisheries".

The SWIOFC Interim Secretary, Vasco Schmidt, acknowledged the effort and dedication that the Working Group had undertaken in establishing agreements in the context of fishing at regional level and that, these efforts are the result of financial support from partners such as SWIOFish1 and WWF, respectively. It means that the region is decisively advancing towards securing sustainable regional fisheries to maximize the social and economic benefits for the countries and their citizens.

For the FAO Representative in Mozambique, Olman Serrano, "partnerships within the region and with the international community could contribute to a positive future for the South-West Indian Ocean region, with better opportunities to improve economic and trade relations, both at the international level as well as at regional level. Perhaps the cooperation among the countries of the region that correspond to the opportunities existing in this globalized and changing world will result in the contribution to better social and economic benefits for the people of the SWIO region. "
Olman Serrano concluded by saying that "FAO encourages and will continue to support the members of the SWIOFC in their pro-active work on fisheries of highly migratory species.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Sea, Inland and Fisheries of Mozambique, Narci di Premegy, said that the major aim of establishment of the Work Party is to enable SWIOFC member countries to build common vision and strategies for the sustainable management of marine living resources including fish such as tuna and other highly migratory species. "The assessment of fishery resources is important in providing the basis for sustainable fisheries and for responding to national, regional and global calls for better management of fisheries resources".

The meeting was organized by SWIOFC, with the technical support of FAO and financial support of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) through the SWIOFish1 programme funded by the World Bank and World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Delegates from Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, and the United Republic of Tanzania attended the two-day meeting.

SWIOFC is a FAO statutory body, established under Article VI of the FAO Constitution, which aims at promoting the sustainable use of living marine resources in the South West Indian Ocean region. This is achieved through proper management and development of living marine resources and agreement on solutions to common problems of fisheries management and development faced by the members of the commission.