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LDRAC and COMHAFAT will collaborate to improve good governance in fisheries

In May 2013 the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO/COMHAFAT), an inter-governmental organisation composed of 22 African States, and the EU Advisory Committee on Long Distance Fishing (LDRAC) signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a framework of cooperation for promoting fisheries sustainability, in particular through EU and COMHAFAT/COMHAFAT member countries' relations.

At the end of October 2013, they jointly organised a workshop in the European Parliament, on "Improving good governance and [the] fight against IUU through the LDRACCOMHAFAT dialogue", gathering representatives from almost all COMHAFAT members' fisheries administrations, EU administrations, African and European fishing organisations and NGOs.

The workshop looked at ways to develop a dialogue for improving fisheries governance in West and Central Africa, including increasing transparency and the strengthening of monitoring control surveillance in coastal states which, according to the participants, would be the best tools to fight IUU fishing.

The workshop participants decided to establish a joint "Atlantic AfricanEU fisheries task force", to elaborate advice on: how to promote transparency; the harmonisation of access conditions; coherence of EU policies (fisheries, trade, development aid policies); and regionalisation aspects (development of the African fisheries reform strategy, regional MCS, regional control procedures).

Participants decided to focus on tuna fisheries as a 'case study', to assess the efficiency of regional and harmonised approaches for the management of these fisheries.