As a signatory to the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Protocol on Fisheries, South Africa will play a significant role in the establishment of the SADC regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) which will soon be established in Mozambique.
The SADC MCSCC is expected to enhance and coordinate compliance and enforcement efforts in the SADC region in order to combat illegal fishing.
“Fighting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is one of the priorities of the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Fisheries crime is not just a national challenge but it is also a global scourge that undermines governments’ poverty eradication efforts.
“The fact that fisheries crime is largely transnational in nature raises a need for organised global communities to work together in addressing illegal fishing,” said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Sunday.
The department said it appreciates the complexity of illegal fishing and would like to assure South Africans that every possible measure will be taken in order to curb this type of crime.
South Africa is a member of Interpol and consequently an active member of the Interpol Fisheries Crime Working Group whose fundamental objective is to enhance collaborative efforts for the purpose of combating fisheries crime, which include poaching of abalone and west coast rock lobster.
The department this week welcomed the board members of Interpol Fisheries Crime Working Group at a meeting in Cape Town, held under the Chairpersonship of Norway.