Accra, Ghana, hosted a regional seminar from 8 to 12  of July, on 'Ensuring Safety Of Ships and Fishing', aiming to encourage discussion on promoting and ensuring safety in the fishing industry. The event also provided Member Governments with the necessary help to implement the Agreement.

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The 2012 Cape Town Agreement (CTA) will provide international standards for the safety of fishing vessels. It sets out regulations designed to protect the safety of crews and observers and provides a level playing field for the industry while also setting standards for fishing vessels of 24 meters length and more.

Many Member States have noticed a link between lack of safety at sea, forced labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The entry into force of the Agreement will enhance safety at sea in the fisheries sector globally. It will also be a useful tool in tackling IUU fishing and limitng pollution from fishing vessels, including marine debris.

In an important move, the Minister of Transport of Ghana, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah called the Ghana Maritime Authority to begin the process for the ratification of the Cape Town Agreement. Fishing is an important industry for Ghana, which is a major exporter of canned seafood, including tuna.

Until now, 11 states have ratified the agreement with 1,413 ships out of the required 3,600 for entry into force. In Africa, only Congo and South Africa have ratified the Agreement.