Countries point to FiTI as leaders advocate for transparent fisheries at Our Ocean Greece

Countries point to FiTI as leaders advocate for transparent fisheries at Our Ocean Greece

ATHENS. Fisheries transparency was in the spotlight last month as leading authorities on ocean governance advocated for improving public access to fisheries management information at the Our Ocean Greece conference in Athens. Gathering 3,800 ocean leaders and officials from 119 countries, the Our Ocean Greece conference saw nonprofits and governments commit to taking 471 concrete actions for ocean sustainability—making an 11.3-billion-dollar investment in protecting ocean health and security.

The Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) participated in two events during the conference, where leading government officials expressed strong interest in the FiTI. At a side event on “African leadership in community-led fisheries and conservation,” organised by Blue Ventures, officials from Cabo Verde and Madagascar explained how the FiTI has benefitted their fisheries sector.

The Republic of Cabo Verde’s Minister of the Sea, Abraão Aníbal Barbosa Vicente, expressed that “FiTI is a very important stakeholder in Cabo Verde. But we need to [put] transparency on every table,” while the Republic of Madagascar’s Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Paubert Tsimanaoraty Mahatante, agreed that “transparency and the FiTI have helped Madagascar to gain trust among donors and business partners. We have benefited greatly from implementing the FiTI.”

Recognizing the progress and benefits that FiTI-implementing countries are receiving, Houmedi Msaidié, the Union of the Comoros’ Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment, Tourism and Crafts, stated that “We are continuing to step up our efforts to ensure good governance in the fisheries sector by working with the Fisheries Transparency Initiative, commonly known as FiTI. The Union of the Comoros has drawn up a roadmap and a concept note to facilitate the process of its full membership of the organisation before the end of the year.”

FiTI also co-organised a side event “From Policy to Practice: Solutions for and Benefits of Transparent and Traceable Fisheries” on 17 April which brought together officials from the United States, the Republic of Korea, Chile, Canada and the European Commission to discuss their support for fisheries transparency and traceability. During this event, Dr Rocío Parra Cortés, Head of the Legal Division of the Undersecretariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Chile’s Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, announced Chile’s commitment to the FiTI, formally declaring Chile’s intent to improve publicly accessible fisheries management information in the country. Dr Cortés also made this announcement during the livestreamed Our Ocean Greece plenary session VII on ‘Promoting Sustainable Fisheries’ earlier that day, which has been viewed already over 3,200 times.

Together, the strong declarations made for the FiTI at Our Ocean Greece reinforce that governments, industry and civil society find value in making fisheries management information publicly accessible online and that traction for fisheries transparency is gaining around the world.