Kofi Annan supports Fisheries Transparency Initiative

Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan

The Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan has welcomed the recently launched Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTi) and underlined the importance of “global collective action” to halt the massive plunder of the world’s fisheries, a press release issued by the Panel and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com has said.

The global Fisheries Transparency Initiative is a high-level response to global calls by influential voices including the Africa Progress Panel, for greater impetus to be given to tackle illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

The 2014 Africa Progress Report, Grain, Fish, Money: Financing Africa’s Green and Blue Revolutions found that Africa is losing billions due to illegal fishing. West Africa alone is estimated to lose at least $1.3 billion a year.

The former UN Secretary General said the activity of trawlers from all over the world operating in African waters, is “organized theft disguised as commerce” and has reached “epidemic proportions” which demands “a strong, long-term international effort” to combat it.

“This challenge is far greater than any single country can handle effectively on its own. It is also much more than just a problem for Africa. Global collective action is especially needed to nurture transparency and accountability. Better fisheries management could increase the global catch by 20 percent, bringing more jobs, better food and nutrition security, and more social and political stability too”, he was quoted as saying in the release.

Fisheries are among the most vital resources on the planet and the Africa Progress Panel says West Africa’s oceans is one of the world’s richest fishing grounds, providing as much as a quarter of West Africans with their livelihoods.

“The Africa Progress Panel calls for a multilateral fisheries regime that applies sanctions to fishing vessels that do not register and report their catches. It also calls on governments around to world to ratify the Port State Measures Agreement, a treaty that seeks to thwart the poachers in port from unloading their ill-gotten gains.”

“The Panel also recommends regulatory reforms including processes to make fishing permits more transparent,” the release said.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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