Two vessels designed to monitor illegal fishing off the Tunisian coast, named "Hannibal 3" and "Hannibal 4", were inaugurated on Monday at the port of La Goulette.

Costing around 1.2 billion Japanese yen (equivalent to around TND 25 million), the vessels are being built as part of a grant from Japan to Tunisia, according to a press release issued jointly by the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

They will enable the Directorate General of Fisheries and Aquaculture, part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, to acquire the means to control and monitor fishing vessels flying the Tunisian flag and to promote the sustainable management of fisheries resources in Tunisian waters in accordance with national and international control requirements.

"As part of the ongoing joint cooperation between the two countries, we are today receiving two control vessels that will support the state's efforts to combat all forms of illegal fishing and preserve the country's fishery resources," Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Abdelmonem Belati said at the signing ceremony, according to the same source.

For his part, Japanese Ambassador to Tunisia, Takeshi Osuga, recalled that "the Tunis Declaration adopted at TICAD 8, to be held in Tunisia in 2022 had stressed the importance of developing efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.”

It also underlined the importance of combating IUU fishing for environmental, social, commercial and legal reasons and expressed the wish that the two new vessels would contribute to strengthening Tunisia's capacity to deal effectively with this challenge.

This project is in line with the long-standing cooperation between the governments of Japan and Tunisia, and the close collaboration between JICA and the Ministry of Agriculture, for the development of the fishing industry in the region, according to the press release.

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