May 3, 2022
On behalf of the American people I am pleased to stand with the Minister for Fisheries and Blue Economy as Madagascar launches the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (or FiTI). By joining FiTI, Madagascar demonstrates its commitment to making the fishery sector more transparent and better governed for the benefit of the Malagasy people.
With the longest coastline of any African nation, Madagascar is uniquely positioned to make the blue economy a pillar of development and engine for prosperity. Careful management of Madagascar’s fish stocks will ensure a dependable source of nutrition and food security for the Malagasy people today and in the future.
FiTI brings together government, civil society, private sector, and local communities to improve the governance of fisheries. By making accurate data publicly available, Malagasy citizens will have a direct role in sustainable management of fisheries crucial to livelihoods and food security. As more nations make fishery data available and work together to improve governance of the region’s marine resources, they shrink the grey spaces where illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing occurs.
Only through strengthened fishery governance at the national and regional levels can we combat IUU fishing and preserve the benefits of each nation’s marine resources for its own citizens.
We congratulate the Government of Madagascar on making this important commitment to transparency and good governance in the fishery sector. We look forward to working with you, civil society, and the private sector like “mpirahalahy mianala” to help make today’s commitment a tremendous success.
We are proud to sponsor this launch and applaud the work of USAID Hay Tao and Blue Ventures. Working with these partners, the U.S. Government is committed to strengthening marine governance. Through our security partnership with the Malagasy armed forces, we are helping to build military and law enforcement capacity to more effectively monitor and control Madagascar’s maritime domain.
With us today is Dr. Diana Stram who is in Madagascar on a U.S. Government-funded Fulbright exchange to work with the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy on economic strategy and policy. Dr. Stram is a senior scientist with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and brings a wealth of experience. She is the first of many future U.S. – Malagasy exchange participants in the marine governance sector.
Also with us today are journalists who have participated in Hay Tao’s environmental reporting program as well as journalists receiving training in IUU fishing from Transparency International Madagascar. This training is part of our grant with Blue Ventures to increase support for stronger policy against IUU fishing.
As this range of programs demonstrates, the U.S. Government stands ready to work together with the Government of Madagascar and the Malagasy people to develop the blue economy and strengthen transparent governance of the fishery sector.