West African States discuss cooperation and targeting fisheries crime in the framework of UNODC's CCP
Between 9 and 11 October 2018, representatives from West African States came together in Lomé, Togo for a regional meeting targeting fisheries crime in the containerised trade supply chain. The event was organised by the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in cooperation with the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa, and brought together 11 participants (including one woman).
A variety of topics were discussed, including transnational organized crime, potential areas for regional cooperation, recent developments, the utility of intelligence-based policing and satellite tracking as tools in the fight against fisheries crime, economic crime in the fishing industry, and the importance of awareness raising and cooperation with both local fishing communities and the private sector.
The principal objective was to strengthen cooperation and enhance knowledge regarding fisheries crime, furthering progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 14, Life Below Water and Goal 16, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions. To achieve these aims, a holistic, multidisciplinary, and multisectoral approach was adopted, encouraging cooperation and the exchanging of best practices among a wide range of actors. This methodology is particularly appropriate given the diversity and complexity of fisheries crime and related issues.
INTERPOL contributed significantly to the event, offering an insightful presentation on the issues of global fisheries enforcement and international law enforcement cooperation. The North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group also shared valuable insights into the fisheries crime discourse. Several representatives from the Togolese private sector participated in sessions on awareness raising and cooperation with regards to fisheries crime.
The CCP regional team for Latin America and the Caribbean also participated in the meeting, taking the opportunity to learn from West African experiences in targeting fisheries crime.
The CCP fisheries crime component, is generously funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
At present, the CCP is operational in 50 Member States and has commenced activities in ten more. More than 80 Port Control Units (PCUs) and Air Cargo Control Units (ACCUs) have been established since the CCP's inception in 2004. This has resulted in seizures of a wide range of prohibited goods, such as proceeds of fisheries, forest, wildlife and other environmental crime, prohibited drugs, precursor chemicals, strategic goods, falsified or unlicensed medicines, cigarettes, weapons and goods which are counterfeit or otherwise violate intellectual property law.
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