Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Timor-Leste completes first national census of fishing boats

Dili, 14 Nov 2012 -- Timor-Leste has completed its first ever national census of fishing vessels, an achievement which will greatly facilitate the sustainable management of the nation’s fisheries resources.

The census was carried out by the Department of General Fishing Inspection of the National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NDFA) with support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Between October 2011 and October 2012, a Mobile Licensing Service visited 192 fishing centers in all 11 districts throughout the country. There they gathered information on almost every fishing boat currently operative in the country. A total of 2 865 boats were registered during the process, of which 1 324 were issued licenses. This information will greatly facilitate better planning and management for the sustainable use of Timor-Leste’s fisheries.

Information on all the boats has been entered into a publicly accessible online system ( where if forms a national census of fishing effort.

These actions were supported by the Spanish-funded Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) which is executed by FAO.

Mr. Man Ho So, FAO Representative to Timor-Leste said, “This is an excellent example of how a relatively small-scale, but well targeted activity can deliver concrete results that will have very real and long lasting benefits for the people of Timor-Leste.”

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