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This Fisheries Technical Paper is intended as a guide for Fisheries Administrators. As an update of FAO Technical Paper 338, An introduction to monitoring, control and surveillance systems for capture fisheries, it includes information on recent legal agreements and management principles, coastal monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) and fisher safety-at-sea. It is hoped that this technical paper will contribute to efforts to implement coastal and offshore fisheries management and MCS schemes using new and emerging strategies and internationally accepted principles for responsible fishing in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

The present paper was prepared within the framework of the FAO Interregional Programme of Assistance to Developing Countries for Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FishCode), under project GCP/INT/648/NOR. Principal contributors to the paper include the following individuals: Peter Flewwelling, an international fisheries management and MCS adviser based in the Philippines; Cormac Cullinan, an environmental and marine lawyer based in South Africa; David Balton, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, United States Department of State; Raymond Sautter, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Department of Commerce; and J. Eric Reynolds, FAO, Rome.

Staff of the FAO Development Law Service, Fishery Industries Division and Fishery Policy and Planning Division were especially helpful in their efforts to make this document useful to national fisheries administrators. David Lymer and Françoise Schatto provided important help with final manuscript preparation. The authors would also like to express their sincere appreciation to all the unofficial advisers who took the time to review and offer advice during the development of this paper. In particular we would like to thank Commander Mike Cerne (Commandant U.S. Coast Guard), Paul Steele (Chief Surveillance and Enforcement, Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Andrew Richards (MCS Manager, South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, Solomon Islands), David Graham (MCS Adviser for Luxembourg Development to the West Africa Subregional Fisheries Commission), Capt. Wan Fatah Omar (MCS Adviser for the Indonesian COREMAP), Capt. Per Erik Bergh (Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Namibia), and Ms Sandy Davies (Fisheries Adviser for the Southern African Development Community). Finally, appreciation and memories go to Capt. Peter Derham, the well respected "elder brother" and adviser to many of us in the MCS field, for his advice and leadership in support of sustainable and responsible fishing.

J. Eric Reynolds
Programme Coordinator, FishCode
Fishery Policy and Planning Division
FAO Fisheries Department, Rome

Flewwelling, P.; Cullinan, C.; Balton, D.; Sautter, R.P.; Reynolds, J.E.
Recent trends in monitoring, control and surveillance systems for capture fisheries.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 415. Rome, FAO. 2002. 200p.


The paper has been designed as a handbook for fisheries administrators for use when establishing or enhancing, monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) systems in support of fisheries management initiatives. It updates the 1994 FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 338, An introduction to monitoring, control and surveillance systems for capture fisheries through a review of recent international fisheries agreements and new MCS approaches involving participatory management; preventive and deterrent MCS strategies; and the importance of safety-at-sea for fishers.

The paper is divided into eight chapters to:

1) provide an overview of MCS;
2) review the legal basis for MCS activities;
3) propose design considerations for MCS systems;
4) review organizational considerations for MCS;
5) discuss management measures and consultation and planning issues;
6) review operational procedures and equipment;
7) review patrol, boarding, inspections and prosecution procedures; and
8) address emerging coastal MCS strategies.

Annexes provide further details of operational issues and options for MCS system design and implementation.

Keywords: fisheries management; capture fisheries; MCS


All FAO Members and Associated Members
Interested Nations and International Organizations
Directors of Fisheries
FAO Fisheries Department
FAO Fishery Officers in FAO Regional and Subregional Offices
Interested Non-Governmental Organizations

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