Fishing Minister Talks Tough

Speaking at 20th Session of the Conference of Ministers of Sub-regional Fisheries Commission at the Bintumani Hotel, Aberdeen, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Madam Emma Kowa called for a holistic approach in fighting Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the sub-region
IUU fishing practice, the Minister said, is one of the main threats to the sustainable development of the sub-regional fisheries activities.
Fisheries, she said, is a highly regionalized sector that requires a share responsibility for regional action to protest the sub-region waters and develop the blue economy in a sustainable way. Minister Kowa furthered that many externalities exist in the fisheries sector where one country’s action or inaction brings about impacts on others noting that fish resource degradation in one country could result to migration of fishers to other countries in search of better fishing grounds, which she said simply transfer the fishing pressure elsewhere.
Good management practices, the Minister said in one country in the form of limiting access to fishing could also lead to the same effect sending fisheries to countries with less stringent regulations.
The Minister therefore stated that tackling of these common regional agendas and mitigating the externalities through regional cooperation and coordination will enable longer overall benefits from fish resources at the regional level.
“I believe the case of cooperation has never been stronger than today and the political circumstance have been more pressing,” she said, noting that the effort of only one country in isolation are of little use if the neighboring countries keep over exploiting the seas.
She concluded that as sub-regional cooperation, they all continue to push for progress, precisely because member states have fish stocks in common “if we do not, we all suffer collectively economically, socially and politically through demolished resources virtual for our very own livelihood.”