The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Tuesday made available a little over 1 million Euros, through the Smartfish Programme, to reinforce the existing efforts in joint fisheries surveillance in the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria in Africa, PANA reported from here.
Léon Martial Razaka, IOC’s Officer in Charge, said that the iIlegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is threatening the sustainability of the resources of the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria.
Lake Victoria holds the most important source of fresh water fish for the African continent, contributing significant income towards the riparian state economies (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) and also adjacent countries.
“The merging of means and resources combined with coherent coordination were key to the success of IOC fisheries monitoring programmes,” he said,
He also stated, thanks to this support, additional efforts will be made to strengthen surveillance operations, examples of which are 30 days supplementary sea patrols for the Seychelles and 58 days for Madagascar.
“Joint patrol operations undertakings in Lake Victoria are important since the lake is a shared water body between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda,” Baraka Mngulwi, the Assistant Director Fisheries Resource Protection in Tanzania, said.
Each of the countries will receive the following amount: Madagascar (349,834 euros), Seychelles (294,200 euros), Kenya (262,257 euros) and Tanzania (62,264 euros).
The Smartfish programme is one of the largest Programmes for Fisheries in Africa. One of its most important component is the monitoring, control and surveillance of the African region comprising the Eastern, Southern African and Indian Ocean.
In these regions alone, the lives of 3.5 million people depend fully or partially on fishing.