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Benguela Current Commission aims to cross political boundaries

by Selwyn Bergman
on 15 Oct 2007
Oceanography SA
Oceanography SA

The Benguela Current Commission, formed as a coalition between Angola, Namibia and South Africa, have their focus set firmly on enhancing resource management in the Bengula Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) by providing a platform on which management issues can be negotiated.

The commission's July 2007 meeting was attended by Ministers from the three countries: Dr. Abraham Iyambo, Namibia's Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, who was also elected to chair the commission in its first year; Salomão Juheto Xirimbimbi, Angola's Minister of Fisheries; and Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The BCLME, which stretches along the west coast of Southern Africa - from South Africa through to Angola is faced with serious challenges. It was realised that an ecosystem-focused management model (a model that spans the entire ecosystem - in contrast to one that is restricted by the individual countries political borders) would be more beneficial in managing the BCLME.

The countries have already shown that they are able to cooperate closely on issues relating to fisheries management, marine research, environmental monitoring, biodiversity management and the protection of coastal waters.

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