The lack of monitoring of fishing activities in the Guinea-Bissau Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) is a concern according to a preliminary assessment by a technical team from the European Commission.
Headed by Louize Hill, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Sea, the team concluded that there was a lack of control of fishing activities in the territorial waters of Guinea-Bissau, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The Secretary of State for Fisheries of Guinea-Bissau, Ildefonso de Barros also acknowledged that in recent years, especially during the period when the country was led by a transitional government, inspection of fishing activities virtually ceased to exist.
“The mission basically came to assess our whole system of control and surveillance of fishing activities, records of ships, how we control the issuance of licenses and fishing efforts in our EEZ,” said Barros.
The final evaluation report from the European Commission will be issued when the team returns, but Louize Hill said that “specific recommendations” had already been communicated to the Guinea-Bissau authorities on what corrections need to be made.
With a total of over 60 ships, the European Union (Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal) has had a fisheries agreement with Guinea-Bissau in place since 1980, but following the military coup of April 2012 European boats stopped fishing in Guinean waters. (macauhub/GW)