14th Meeting of the SADC Regional Technical Team for the MCSCC
17 August 2023
The 14th Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Technical Team (RTT) for the Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) took place in Windhoek, Namibia from 15-17 August 2023.
Mr Beau Tjizoo, Deputy Director of Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) in Namibia, representing the Executive Director of Namibia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ms. Annely Haiphene, gave opening and welcoming remarks to the RTT. Ms. Annely Haiphene expressed Namibia’s satisfaction at hosting an extremely important meeting for the region, reminding that “it took a great deal of effort for a majority representation of SADC Member States to sign the Charter, with the latest signing by the Republic of Botswana in March 2023, leading the required threshold for the Charter to enter into force in April 2023”. She also highlighted that the subsequent signature by the Republic of Seychelles in July 2023 signified the importance that Member States have attached to strengthening of regional cooperation to combat IUU fishing through the MCSCC.
Alongside evaluating the progress made in the implementation of the operationalization of the MCSCC, the delegates discussed the Criteria for appointment of Board of Directors for the MCSCC, both approved by SADC Ministers in May 2023. RTT reviewed the implementation of MCS activities by the Interim Project Management Unit (IPMU), received updates on the construction of the MCSCC building in Katembe (Mozambique), as well as updates from projects supporting the MCSCC. RTT also discussed draft Terms of Reference for the SADC MCSCC Operational Task Force which will be established to implement key services provided by the MCSCC. The meeting further discussed and finalised funding needs and opportunities to support the establishment and operationalization of the MCSCC for a period of 2024-2030.
A work session was integrated as part of this meeting to discuss and identify the MCS tools and training needs to implement MCS Pilot Projects in Lakes Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa and Kariba, in coordination with the MCSCC, with five Member States (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Equipment/tools for vessel monitoring wereconsidered by the five Member States and further procurement of these tools/equipment will be facilitated by WWF under the SADC PROFISHBLUE project. Pilots are expected to run from late 2023 until early 2025.
The meeting was supported by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Mozambique), through the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) Fisheries project (funded by the German Government) and PROFISHBLUE project (funded by SADC Secretariat and African Development Bank), and other partners of the MCSCC, Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), FishFORCE Academy, Tryg Matt Tracking (TMT) and Benguela Current Commission (BCC).