EU maintains interest in the sustainability of fisheries sector

The European Union in recent years has demonstrated its interest in the way the fisheries sector is managed in Ghana and neighboring countries towards sustainability.

As such it has invested in various ways including funding for projects expected to enhance the sector such as the Programme for Improved Regional Fisheries Governance in Western Africa (PESCAO).

Recently, the Director General of the Directorate General for the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission, H.E Charlina Vitcheva, paid a courtesy call on the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) in Tema, Ghana.

Discussions centered on bilateral cooperation and the review of the achievements of the FCWC in its implementation of the EU-funded PESCAO project.

Speaking to the media, the Director General revealed some of the concerns of the EU leading to Ghana being issued the yellow card status.

She said, “the yellow card is an indication that we have a problem with IUU fishing. The idea behind the yellow card is not to sanction but to prevent and help. Today when I was discussing with the fishermen and the representatives and stakeholders in the sector and value chain, I was very happy to hear that, stakeholders really appreciate this move because they had taken it exactly the way we mean it on our side.”

The Director General disclosed that the next step after the carding has been to establish dialogue between Ghana and the EU.

She said the EU is working closely with the Ghanaian authorities in the fisheries sector to provoke reform as well as provide technical assistance where needed.

“We immediately had the Minister coming directly to Brussels and we felt a genuine willingness to progress and improve the situation,” she expressed.

H.E Charlina Vitcheva emphasized the dangers of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

She explained that not only does IUU fishing not only depletes fish stock and ocean resources, but it undermines fair trading practices and healthy competition.

Source: The Business & Financial Times

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