Africa-Press – Seychelles. The 60th patrol of the PRSP: a regional device of control and effective deterrence
The countries participating in the Regional Fisheries Monitoring Plan (PRSP) celebrated the end of their sixtieth joint patrol aboard the ship OSIRIS II. During this 60th mission, the ship OSIRIS II sailed the seas of Comoros, France/La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania from January 7 to 30, 2023, thanks to the support of the Reunion Region through FEDER/INTERREG funds. During this patrol, 34 boats were checked without any major violations being noted in the maritime areas of the South-West of the Indian Ocean.
The South-West region of the Indian Ocean sends a strong message of deterrence to potential illegal fishermen thanks to the PRSP. Its efforts to protect fishing resources are more and more effective since the region knows when and where to carry out controls. In addition, the ratio of serious infractions has dropped considerably since the PRSP was launched. While 25% of the infractions found during the first mission were serious, all the infractions found during the 60th mission are minor.
“This success is translated by the score of the countries participating in the PRSP in the index of INN fishing. Since 2021, the average PRSP country score has surpassed that of the global score. However, 5 of the 9 countries have substantially progressed in the world ranking, rising between 17 and 64 places. In addition, the region has become not only more effective in the fight against illegal, unregulated and undeclared fishing, but also more efficient in terms of the costs associated with surveillance. In fact, the systems put in place to exchange and analyze data related to fishing in the region have allowed more adapted and better oriented actions to be carried out”, explains Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission (COI) ), referring to the efforts of the South-West region of the Indian Ocean to protect its fisheries resources.
The representatives of the Comoros, France/Reunion, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania participated in the ceremony marking the end of the 60th regional fishing patrol as well that the fifteen years of cooperation of these countries in the fight against illegal fishing.
Beyond the pooling of resources, the PRSP facilitates the sharing of information related to ship movements, licenses, inspection reports, etc. The PRSP also supports national efforts in the fight against IUU fishing.
The implementation of the PRSP is the realization of the orientations adopted by the heads of state and government at the IOC Summit in 2005, which emphasize the urgency of cooperating to combat illegal fishing in the region. Following this appeal, the IOC organized a conference of ministers in charge of fishing in 2007, which resulted in the establishment of the PRSP the same year, with the financial support of the European Union. Since 2020, the PRSP has been implemented within the framework of the ECOFISH program financed by the European Union. The regional fisheries surveillance missions also benefit from financial support from the Région Région through the INTERREG Indian Ocean program.