SADC's regional fisheries center starts operations in Mozambique

MAPUTO, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has started full operation in Maputo, Mozambique's capital, marking a milestone in the fight against illegal fishing and illicit activities in the region's waters.

The first meeting of the MCSCC's Board of Directors was held in Maputo on Thursday, officially launching the regional center's operations.

According to Lidia Cardoso, minister of the sea, inland waters and fisheries, the center is designed to strengthen cooperation and capacity among SADC member countries, and its main objective is to put an end to illegal fishing in the region.

The minister said the center's operational plan includes strategies for mobilizing resources and implementing concrete actions to achieve the joint objectives of the signatory countries.

"Mozambique is taking a positive step in the fight against illegal fishing, benefiting significantly from hosting the regional center, which will concentrate coordinated SADC efforts before expanding them to other countries," she said.

The center is equipped with advanced surveillance technology, including satellites, drones and other maritime monitoring tools, essential for detecting illicit activities such as illegal fishing. The information will be shared with member countries for subsequent action.

According to the National Institute of the Sea, Mozambique loses between 60 and 70 million U.S. dollars a year as a result of illegal fishing and tax evasion by vessels not licensed to carry out maritime operations.

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