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The IWC is participating in a second regional consultation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Secretariats’ Network, taking place in Accra, Ghana this week.

This series of regional consultations aim to promote collaboration and cooperation among regional fishery bodies and other relevant organisations.  Effective regional frameworks and coordinated approaches are needed to address issues of common concern including bycatch.

This week’s event focuses on the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean and is jointly organized by the FAO Regional Office for Africa and the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic.  The IWC also participated in the first consultation which took place in Mozambique in June and focused on the Indian Ocean.

The IWC will be focusing on cetacean bycatch and addressing the challenge of finding workable solutions to improve the monitoring and mitigation of interactions between fisheries and whales, dolphins and porpoises.   

The consultation is also an opportunity to draw attention to the IWC Bycatch Mitigation Initiative (BMI), a multi-disciplinary work programme which aims to raise awareness of the scale of the cetacean bycatch problem and potential solutions, as well as initiating pilot programmes to test new approaches and technologies.  Collaboration is core to the Initiative which works with technology and the fishing industry, economists, legal experts, NGOs and fishing communities, as well as the FAO and regional fisheries bodies whose involvement is of course crucial to success. 

The Ghana workshop runs for 3 days, from 30 November.

Click for more information on cetacean bycatch.