Change the world


Nelson Mandela University’s Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy (FishFORCE) is hosting its second annual dialogue, aimed at increasing awareness about fisheries crime, and to engage a variety of international and local agencies and organisations on these issues.

The dialogue, which takes place on 9-10 March under the theme “Tightening the Net 2.0”, also intends to foster strategic discussions on topical issues around fisheries crime, with the aim of providing solutions towards addressing this massive problem.

“The scourge of fisheries crime needs to be recognised and treated as a priority crime,” said FishFORCE Head, Prof Hennie Van As.

The dialogue, which follows on the success of inaugural one in March 2019, also strives to advance economic development by increasing the capacity of selected developing countries to enforce its legislation and to in­vestigate and prosecute fisheries crime.

“This is achieved by building expertise amongst law enforcement officials to fight fisheries crime and by promoting a multi-agency and cross-border collaboration,” said Prof Van As.

“The dialogue includes a range of relevant topics and discussions, which the academy believes will assist by feeding into the bigger efforts around fighting fisheries crimes, which occur at high rates and have huge economic impact.”

The discussions and information flowing from the dialogue will be fed into the training and research conducted by FishFORCE.

The Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy, the first ever in Africa, was established in 2016 in the Faculty of Law at Nelson Mandela University.

Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FishFORCE’s main objective is to improve knowledge and promote intelligence-led investigations and prosecutions of criminals engaged in fisheries crime in Africa and globally.

FishFORCE was established as a partnership between Nelson Mandela University, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

Dialogue attendees include operational officials from the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, Benguela Current Commission, the South African Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, DAFF and Operation Phakisa.

Senior representatives from Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and Kenya are also in attendance as well as academics from Nelson Mandela University, Rhodes University and the Free University of Brussels.

Since its inception, and launch in November 2017, FishFORCE has done tremendous work in contributing to the global fight against fisheries crime, highlighting the gravity of these and the severe economic impact.

It has formed strategic partnerships around the world, and has been instrumental in the training and development of officials in various countries in tackling fisheries crime.

Some of the topics to be discussed during the two-day dialogue include the role of Operation Phakisa in the battle against illegal marine activities; the disposal of seized marine living resources; and strengthening cooperation and capacity to stop illegal fishing and build sustainable blue growth in the SADC region.

Contact information
Mr Michael de Lange
Chief Operating Officer FishFORCE
Tel: 0415044961