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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

FAO helps the Pacific in fisheries enforcement and compliance

FAO and its partners are working together in training Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) training in the Pacific. Fisheries enforcement and compliance is critical for the management of the regions tuna and oceanic resources. Members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) have called for greater recognition of MCS and effective fisheries management. It was identified that this aim could be achieved by an MCS practitioners’ introductory training programme. The Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Training for Pacific Region Heading Towards Certificate IV Qualifications was held in October 2015 in Honiara, Solomon Islands. This training programme is comprised of four courses delivered by FFA and Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand (MPI) staff plus observation and validation by The University of the South Pacific (USP). Sixteen fisheries MCS and/or surveillance officers, including six female trainees, were trained. They came from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The training was delivered by trainers supported by the Common Oceans/ ABNJ Tuna Project coordinated by FAO and funded by the Global Environment Facility, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand via MPI and the Australia Fisheries Management Authority. The Director General of FFA, Mr James Movick said, “I want to thank the FAO for their project funding support to this activity, and acknowledge USP’s role in formally accrediting this technical skills-based qualification. This new accredited process can help persuade Governments to pay more attention to MCS officers in terms of career options and to build professional positions with properly accredited qualifications.” The Cert IV FEC programme covers standards of competency related to demonstrating knowledge of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean Fishery, MCS concepts and legal frameworks. It also helps students to apply tools for effective fisheries management and contribute to effective activities as well as operational planning and coordination.

Source: FAO