A formal implementation plan (PIM) has been drawn, clearly setting out the deliverables and outputs within a structured framework. Implementation of SWIOFP will occur in three stages, namely:
Stage 1: The first stage of 12-18 months focuses on Component 1: namely the development of database systems; collection and analysis of existing data; data-gap analysis and harmonization of new data collection methods. Protocols will be developed that allow sharing of regional fisheries knowledge and experience between countries. There are several very strong fishing nations in the Project such as France, Seychelles, South Africa, Mozambique and Mauritius. The Project has been designed to allow this experience to be shared and used in a “South:South” partnership to build experience of countries that are not as strong or do not have as long a history of offshore fisheries management.
Stage 2: Once the activities of stage 1 are fully launched and a data collection programme has been designed to fill the gaps in existing knowledge of the offshore resources, the field operations will be implemented to collect new information about the fish stocks identified in Components 2 to 4. This collection of new data, and the establishment of a baseline, is expected to run for 24-36 months.
Stage 3: Once the baseline has been established and data analyzed, Stage 3 of the Project will begin. During this stage, the countries will identify regional issues that need to be addressed by SWIOFP. This will include a harmonized and mutually agreed upon set of priority actions that each country agrees to undertake to address the identified regional issues. SWIOFP will provide input into preparation of two TDAs and one SAP. The UNDP-implemented ASCLME Project will host and drive the production of these TDAs and SAP, while SWIOFP will be responsible for delivering its own fishery related aspects. This last stage is expected to take 18 months and is expected to lead into development of a follow-on project to SWIOFP.