Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


3.1 Influencing Factors

There are three groups of factors that may influence decisions regarding the type of MCS system required to meet the needs of fisheries management in a particular State. These are:

a) the geographic and demographic aspects of the State, including the nature of the fishing industry, the resource base, and the international profile of the fishery;

b) social and economic factors; and

c) the political will and commitment to sustainable and responsible fisheries management.

3.2 Geographic and demographic aspects

3.2.1 Size of the EEZ and the fishing area within the Zone

The area of fishing of both the domestic and foreign fleets will significantly influence the design of the MCS system for any State. For example, the Philippines central Government has delegated to local municipalities the responsibility for managing all artisanal fisheries, which involve more than 300,000 small vessels operating off of more than 7,000 islands. Each local municipal authority has jurisdiction over a zone out to 15 km from the shore. The central government retains authority for MCS over the remaining 2.2 million km? under national jurisdiction.

However, a very different MCS system will be required for a State such as Sri Lanka, which has an EEZ of 517,000 km? and 26,600 vessels in the marine fishery, including many foreign vessels.

A large zone and fishing area may require air surveillance and vessels to patrol the areas of concern. A small fishing zone, by contrast, might be surveyed cost-effectively using other technology, possibly land-based, such as over-the-horizon radar, coast watch systems, or VMS, coupled with less expensive "no force" strategies.

3.2.2 Topography of the coastline

A coastline with multiple bays, rivers, and sensitive nearshore coastal habitat may require a more flexible MCS scheme than a relatively consistent coastline that is easily observable.

3.2.3 Area of active fisheries

The specific area in which fishing occurs will also affect the MCS system design, due to the migration of fish stocks between fishing areas and States. This can also cause conflict between artisanal and offshore fishers, if there are incursions of vessels from the latter sector into areas in which small vessels operate. Such conflict can become especially critical when the EEZ of a State has a small yet very productive fishing ground and the fishing pressures from all fishing sectors is intense. A larger active fishing area is obviously more difficult to protect than a smaller area, but fishing intensity in a smaller area also creates its own unique enforcement problems. Most fisheries occur on the continental shelf or on its slope and into deeper water, with only a few States exploiting very deep fisheries (e.g. Namibia for orange roughy). Because a natural tendency for local fishers is to fish as close to home as possible to conserve time and fuel, incursions into coastal areas are common. This creates a concern with respect to the creation and implementation of zones for the MCS system.[51]

3.2.4 Fishing fleet profile

The profile of the fishing fleets (domestic and foreign, artisanal and offshore), is a consideration for the implementation of MCS strategies. The condition, size, fishing capacity, gear type and fishing patterns of the vessels will all have an impact on what the State may wish the vessels to do to comply with its management plan and MCS policies. For example, the profile of the fleets is an important factor in determining minimum safety and equipment standards, not only for the well-being of the fishers, but to reduce search and rescue costs, maximise the quality of landings, and minimize the risk of pollution at sea.

3.2.5 Precautionary approach

A State with overfished artisanal/coastal fisheries will likely experience growing pressure on its offshore fisheries. If the State has little knowledge of the offshore resource base, it should devote time and effort to gathering information on those resources and to adopting a precautionary approach to management of those fisheries. A key factor in this scenario may be the targeted species. Offshore resources are usually high value species fished for commercial profit, while artisanal fisheries often focus on any available fish, including lower value stocks harvested for subsistence.

3.2.6 International pressures

International pressures from distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) and the short-term economic benefits of foreign currency can be attractive to developing States, but often at the expense of sustainable exploitation of their fisheries resources. Of special relevance today is the economic temptation to register DWFN vessels in developing States that have no capability to control the activities of the "new flag" vessels. Some of these vessels operate in internationally sensitive areas without appropriate attention to conservation. As reviewed in Chapter 2, States that register fishing vessels without the ability to control their fishing activities are failing to fulfil their responsibilities under modern international instruments in the fisheries field.[52] Registration of these vessels should be avoided.

3.2.7 Bilateral and regional cooperation

Limited resources and the scarcity of trained staff in many States, particularly where large EEZs and fishing areas are involved, often mean that the only effective protection against uncontrolled overfishing and lack of compliance with regulatory MCS measures is through strong cooperation on bilateral, subregional and regional bases. Cooperative efforts can result in economic and international pressures to comply with internationally respected conservation principles that would not otherwise be achievable by a single State.

As discussed in Chapter 2, UNCLOS and related international instruments encourage States to cooperate in fisheries management by establishing subregional or regional fisheries organizations. The advantages of regional cooperation and some of the potential problems are indicated in Profiles 4 and 5, for Northwest Africa and the European Union respectively, and in the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) case study presented in Annex D. They will be mentioned again in Chapter 4. Participation in a regional fisheries organization will clearly have a major impact on the design of an MCS system.

3.2.8 Demographics of the domestic fishery

Other issues may affect the type of MCS strategy to be adopted to ensure continued healthy fish stocks, especially the domestic fishery. For example, in the Seychelles and Malaysia, the average age of fishers is high because other employment opportunities appear more appealing and lucrative to young people. This creates several unique challenges for these States. It also presents an opportunity to educate the new fishers in the benefits of fisheries conservation. Alternatively, if young people are not encouraged to enter the fishery, the MCS system design will need to focus on the possibility of an increase in foreign offshore fisheries, or rely on increased use of foreign fishers to crew local vessels.

3.3 Socio-economic Factors

3.3.1 Contribution of fisheries to the GNP

The contribution of the fishery to the national economy will determine its profile and the importance placed on fisheries management activities. Generally speaking, a State will allocate resources to conserve and manage fisheries based on the total value of the fisheries, which can include some indirect benefits to the State.[53] Most States will not expend more on an MCS system than the total value of the resources in question.

Profile 4. MCS Initiative for the Subregional Fisheries Commission of Northwest Africa
David Graham
(LUX Development Project Adviser)


The Subregional Fisheries Commission of Northwest Africa (SRFC) was established by Convention in 1985 and is made up of six Northwest African States (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal) plus Sierra Leone, which participates actively in the work of the Commission but has not yet officially adhered to the Convention. The Commission has been responsible for a number of protocols on hot pursuit and legislative harmonisation. It has also been instrumental in establishing joint air and sea surveillance activity between States, though lack of funding is currently hampering the effectiveness of this activity. FAO has a function, through its Dakar office, to strengthen the SRFC to make it a more authoritative and representative body on behalf of its member states.

The continental shelf extends to over 100 nautical miles offshore in the northwest, thus being more extensive than anywhere else on the west coast other than Namibia. National coastlines vary in length from 70 km (The Gambia) to 718 km (Sengegal), and shelf areas vary in area from 3 000 to 50 200 km?. Despite having a small shelf area, Cape Verde has the largest EEZ of the States within the subregion. This, coupled with the oceanic rather than coastal weather experienced in the islands, has a fundamental bearing on the type of MCS and fisheries protection service required by the islands. On the mainland, the length of coastline and the extent of the shelf have obvious implications for surveillance requirements.

Types of fisheries and resources.

Resources are dependent on the depth of water, temperature and salinity. Small pelagics are predominant. Demersal species vary according to seabed type and water temperature, and representatives are croakers, grunters, threadfin, spadefish and soles, snappers, groupers and gurnards. Cephalopods exist in the whole of the region, but are most important in Mauritania. Localized stocks of shrimp are found mainly off large river mouths such as in southern Senegal, off The Gambia River, and in the Bissau archipelago and Sierra Leone. Deep-water shrimps are also targeted in Bissau and Sierra Leone. Large pelagics (tunas) are fished offshore by large purse seiners and closer inshore by pole and line. All stocks with the exception of small pelagics are heavily exploited, shrimp stocks in particular being over exploited in many areas. The advent of super trawlers (144 m long, hold capacity of 7 000 tonnes, 19 600 hp and 13 500 GT), mainly from Europe, may have a significant impact on these stocks in Mauritania and Senegal.

There is an important artisanal fishery throughout the region that serves a critical role for food security and employment. For example, over 70% of fish landed in Senegal comes from artisanal operations. Large numbers of foreign industrial vessels fish as joint ventures and under access agreements.

Control mechanisms

In addition to licences, vessels are subject to gear restrictions and inshore exclusion zones, and zoning by type and species fished. Legislation is regionally sound as a result of an FAO project completed in mid-1997. Port pre-licence inspections are carried out in some States, and FAO vessel marking by callsign is either legislated or recommended throughout the region. Transhipping is widely monitored, although lack of sea-borne surveillance reduces its effectiveness. A pilot VMS scheme commenced operation in Senegal in 2000.

MCS assets

The major focus initially was the provision and funding of fisheries aerial surveillance. Subregional flying commenced in July 1996. The original three aircraft were stationed in Cape Verde, Senegal and Mauritania. There are many patrol boats within the subregion, in various states of operational readiness. Many are unsuitable, either because of general condition or cost-effectiveness.

Achievements and future challenges

The value of aerial surveillance as a control mechanism against illegal fishing in the subregion has been demonstrated and accepted. Future challenges include: the strengthening of the SRFC as an organization; solving problems of interaction and conflict between artisanal and industrial fishers; and the serious and ongoing situation involving a hard core of illegal trawlers fishing without licences, or in some cases semi-legitimately with licences. These vessels are often protected in their operations by vested interests, and fish with no regard whatsoever to fisheries regulations or good practices. The use of special courts with legal experts and justices trained in the administration of fisheries law might also be considered. A future aim is also to rationalise the use of subregional patrol boats to allow operations in several states, using the cadre of officers trained under the Feb-June 2000 Chief of Maritime Mission Course as a base team.

Profile 5. MCS and the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union[54]

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Union evolved over several years until 1983 when it became law by Council Regulation No. 170/83 Community system for conservation and management of fisheries resources. This was to address fisheries issues for a fleet of almost 100 000 vessels employing almost 300 000 full and part time fishers, with 70 000 of the vessels less than 12 m, and 2 500 being more than 33 m (freezer trawlers and ocean seiners). The budget of the EU for the CFP was approximately 1% (924.5 million euros in 1996), or less than that for the market support for wine and tobacco.

The implementation of the CFP has had its difficulties due to the differing legal systems (civil and common law), different operational areas (national versus third party, high seas and foreign waters); varying levels of commitment to conservation by Member States; and the lack of common national practices and operational standards to control their fleets in Community waters, on the high seas and in other third party or foreign waters. Lack of common MCS training and diverging priorities for sustainable fisheries management versus socio-economic factors of employment have further created difficulties in implementation. Over capacity and lack of political will and commitment in some Member States resulted in the first phase of implementation (1983-1993) showing a "major gap between the law in theory ... and the law in practice which revealed that non-compliance with the regulatory framework was widespread".[55] This inadequacy extended to infrastructure for MCS, effectiveness of MCS operations, data collection and disbursement and inter-Member State MCS cooperation.

Issues of exclusivity of flag State enforcement, as opposed to coastal or port State action deterred from the effectiveness of MCS in Community waters and especially in developing State waters. This was exacerbated by the efforts to defer the fleet reduction by moving the fleets to developing State waters where history has noted non-compliance by the EU fleets with respect to sustainable fisheries schemes, factors that have detracted from the EU reputation in international conservation and fisheries management fora - a position from which it is difficult to recover, especially where this strategy and its results may have required international donor agency assistance to redress.

Phase II of the implementation of the CFP commenced with passage of Community Regulation No. 2847/93, the Control Regulation. This marked a shift in attitude in the Community towards acceptance of the need for more MCS and enforcement action to achieve sustainable fisheries. Policies were expanded to cover both the producer and the consumer and wider geographic areas (Community and non-Community maritime waters). Efforts were made to introduce satellite technology as a key MCS tool supported by integrated information technology. Efforts were also made in some cases to develop joint MCS agreements and operations (e.g. United Kingdom and Belgium) and flag State and coastal State merging of operations (e.g. Spanish inspectors and Mauritanian inspector/observers at ports in Spain).

MCS issues being addressed, in consideration or suggested include:

  • Common inspection standards (ongoing);

  • Compulsory control levels in Member States (being discussed);

  • Common training to Community Inspection Standards for inter-Member/coastal State inspections in Community, high seas and third party waters, on agreement of common standards (future);

  • Cross training (ongoing);

  • Inter-agency/Member State mechanisms and operations (United Kingdom/Belgium example);

  • Preventive MCS (future - with industry involvement); and

  • Industry peer pressure mechanisms for voluntary compliance (future).

The intent for involvement of industry in management includes:

  • Training on EU CFP as part of formal vessel master's and mate's certification;

  • Enhanced awareness of long-term detrimental impacts of non-compliance;

  • Reporting programmes for illegal activities;

  • Observer programmes including introduction of satellite technology; and

  • Re-assessment of "hard law" penalties, and enhanced "soft law" (reports, internal audits, etc.) mechanisms.

"As a consequence, the characterization of Community law enforcement [MCS] will no longer be solely one of authoritative prescription backed by sanctions, but of resource trusteeship and concern for common interests at a collective level."[56]

As noted above, some developing States permit significant foreign access to their fisheries in order to obtain much needed foreign currency. Unfortunately, some distant water fishing fleets exploit this circumstance in order to operate in poorly regulated fisheries. International efforts should ensure that fishing fleets granted such access are subject to appropriate controls and provide reasonable compensation to the coastal State.

3.3.2 Employment opportunities

Employment opportunities that can result from enhancing the fishing potential of the State are also a factor in the consideration of an MCS strategy. A State that seeks long-term displacement of foreign fishing fleets may require training of its own fishers who will eventually assume these fishing rights. Training of nationals can be a component of an access agreement with foreign fleets. Such access agreements can also promote appropriate safety-at-sea equipment and practices, in accordance with the Protocol to the 1977 Torremolinos Convention. This Protocol will bring fishing vessels under port State control with respect to safety certificates. Such training can also link with the CCRF to engender a new attitude toward conservation and safety.

3.3.3 Benefits to other ocean users

The importance of tourism (coastal as well as offshore, e.g. whale watching), enhancement of industrial capacity, requirements for sea transportation, and port and shipping activity can all have an impact on the strategy developed for fisheries management, with consequences for the MCS strategy adopted. All ministries involved in such issues will need to work cooperatively to ensure that government priorities are met and, as far as possible, fisheries requirements and the benefits of fisheries to society are recognized and respected. Fisheries management priorities will often seem to conflict with priorities from tourism, industry, and marine transportation initiatives. The commonality of the benefits of healthy resources to each of these sectors must be realised for both the economy and employment in each sector. (Also see discussion in Chapter 8.)

MCS should conserve fisheries resources and their habitats. In developing an MCS system, a State should ensure appropriate liaison between its fisheries managers and those who use the ocean for activities other than fishing. For example, careful assessment and control of tourism development, assurance of non-destructive fishing practices, development of marine parks, use of mooring buoys to reduce the damage to coral reefs from ad hoc anchoring, etc. can all benefit fishers, tourism and marine supply industries.

Small island States are now realising the negative effects of marine pollution resulting from uncontrolled industrial development and the excessive use of pesticides. All land-based activities on small islands eventually affect the marine environment, some of which have the potential to destroy the very marine resources and habitat, including the coral reefs that attract tourists. MCS activities for fisheries can also assist in addressing safety-at-sea through vessel tracking systems for national and foreign vessels, as well as for monitoring marine pollution and other environmental concerns.

Since the early 1990s, for example, Belize and Malaysia have promoted tourism and encouraged the development of marine parks. Each State has established appropriate surveillance initiatives to ensure the implementation of management plans. Similar initiatives are springing up elsewhere, including the coral reef rehabilitation and management program (COREMAP) in Indonesia and the coastal resources management project (CRMP) in Philippines.

3.3.4 Food security

A further MCS system design consideration is the possibility of including a requirement for a percentage of the catch to be landed in the coastal State. Such an arrangement could yield benefits in the form of increased protein supplies for local consumption as well as employment generation within the domestic processing sector and increased export earnings from value-added product.

3.4 Political will and commitment

A critical component of any ocean policy, planning and management system, which should include fisheries, is the degree of political will and commitment to implement and support such a policy. Profile 6 on the Argentinean experience underscores the crucial importance of this factor for sustainable fisheries. The actual or potential economic profile of the fishery in the national economy will undoubtedly determine the level of political support that MCS initiatives will receive from the government. A potentially lucrative domestic fishery, and the MCS activities required to protect it, will probably receive significant government attention. Nevertheless, a State must balance the long-term benefits with the need to maintain the political support that is key to the successful development and implementation of MCS systems. Fisheries managers may gain government and popular support for their programmes by methods such as the establishment of a database for resource management that would also allow political authorities to receive timely information, a system to maximise potential revenues through implementation of licence fees, and greater control of the resources from licensing and surveillance with a focus on increasing the incomes of the fishers.

These factors and their relative importance to the political objectives of a State make fisheries management, and the resultant MCS strategy, unique to each State.

3.4.1 Control domestic as well as foreign fishing

A State will court disaster if it concentrates its MCS efforts to control illegal incursions and foreign fishing in the offshore area and devotes little attention to larger, domestic offshore fishing operations and to the coastal areas where intense IUU fishing often occurs. Yet such approaches arise all too frequently in States that are still in the process of instituting sustainable management programs. Although the targeting of illegal foreign fishing may have a high political priority in such States, the greater threat to the resource often comes from fishing by the domestic fleet, for which few if any controls may be in place.

3.4.2 Scientific advice and the precautionary approach

Although there is a definite need for "pure scientific research" for fisheries management, there is a greater need for "applied research" to support sustainable and responsible fisheries management. Many States claiming to have insufficient scientific information available for informed fisheries management, continue to pursue research interests that have little positive influence on sustainable management strategies Fisheries managers should ensure that their scientific research programmes are structured to provide relevant information upon which to base their management decisions.

Profile 6. Sustainable fisheries and political will - the Argentinean example

The Argentinean fisheries management regime is based on quota limitations by species. Only two species are split in areas with separate quotas - namely: hake (north and south of 42°S) and mackeral (north and south of 39°S). The Sub-Secretariat of Fisheries monitors a total of 28 quotas and a further three non-quota catches including grenadier, squid and shrimp. The national fleet comprises 731 vessels, of which 310 are artisanal/coastal vessels, 133 ice trawlers, and 288 processing fleet vessels (freezers, factory, jiggers, longliners, surimi, scallopers, and shrimp).

In 1997 the established TAC was 300 000 mt, but the fishing industry landed in excess of 1.3 million mt. Of this over 550 000 mt were hake, which when combined with the by-catch of hake in the shrimp fishery and the Uruguan fishery, meant that the total hake catch approached 800 000 mt. In previous years catches regularly exceeded the 1997 TAC level by 130% to 158%. New entrants were still permitted into the fishery and there appeared to be no political will to close the fishery when the TAC was reached. "Limited entry" for fisheries in Argentina has not been successful to reduce fishing effort below maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. A new Fisheries Law (Law No. 24,922) was enacted but lacked the political support for effective implementation.

Fisheries officials in Argentina noted that the monitoring exercise was faulty due to lack of staff, lack of training and equipment, inadequate accountability for management funding, lack of transparency and consistency in management and MCS practices (licensing, operations, penalties, etc.), lack of credibility in the eyes of the fishing industry, and most importantly, the lack of both political will and knowledge of the importance of sustainable and responsible fisheries management.

It is unfortunate that Argentina is one of the many States that have suffered from errors in negotiating strategies with larger economic blocs that do not have the same respect for conservation and are using developing States to accommodate their overcapitalization in the fishing industry. It was this agreement that permitted foreign vessels in Argentina's waters and was instrumental in the collapse of the hake fishery.

The Government finally closed the hake fishery until an appropriate management scheme could be put in place, an action very unpopular with fishers. The VMS system is being reviewed for cost-effectiveness. Other plans for the future include assistance for MCS in:

  • legislation

  • institutional strengthening and transparency;

  • training for port inspectors, inspectors and observers;

  • further enhancement of the Observers programme and feedback to industry;

  • MONPESAT VMS if it can become cost recoverable;

  • enhanced data collection and liaison with the provinces; and

  • Navy/coast guard air and sea support.

Other MCS-related issues being considered include:

  • ITQ management and decisions for implementation with appropriate legal support, data infrastructure, equipment and personnel to appropriately address ITQs on a real time basis; and

  • liaison and possibly a Memorandum of Agreement with the coastal provinces to ensure cooperative efforts for licensing, information and MCS activities in support of the ITQs system.

In this regard, Article 12 of the CCRF states that "conservation and management decisions for fisheries should be based on the best scientific advice available...." Article 12 also:

a) recognizes the need for sound scientific advice for responsible fisheries management;

b) calls for the establishment of institutional frameworks for applied research;

c) urges that research results should be made available to the managers and stakeholders in a timely manner, respecting business confidentiality where appropriate;

d) calls for the initiation of research as soon as possible where adequate scientific information is lacking;

e) provides that reliable and accurate data (catches, by-catches, discards and waste) should be collected and shared as appropriate;

f) recognizes the need to monitor and assess the state of stocks under national jurisdiction, including ecosystem impacts;

g) suggests the "use of research results as the basis for the setting of management objectives, reference points and performance criteria"; and

h) urges regional cooperation in research for management.

The CCRF also advocates the precautionary approach by stating that: "The absence of adequate scientific information should not be used as a reason for postponing or failing to take measures to conserve target species, associated or dependent species and non-target species and their environment."[57] Many recent international instruments promote use of the precautionary approach. The concept reflects the recognition that environmental matters, including fisheries management, tend to be complex and multifaceted and that it is often difficult to obtain conclusive scientific proof of the causes of any phenomenon. It also reflects the increasing recognition that the degradation of the environment (including fish stocks) has now become so serious that it is frequently necessary to take urgent measures to address problems (e.g. to conserve marine resources) even if full scientific information is not yet available. The precautionary approach therefore seeks to qualify the general principle that conservation in management decisions should be based on scientific advice by making it clear that the absence of adequate scientific information should not be used to justify a failure to take urgent conservation measures. In other words, fisheries administrators should act now to conserve fish stocks while continuing with research, the results of which must be used to refine and adjust conservation measures to ensure that they continue to be based on the best scientific information available.

3.4.3 Participatory management and MCS

The cooperation of the fishing industry and fishers is essential to cost-effective fisheries management. If the industry, fishers and their communities, organizations, cooperatives, unions and fishing companies actively participate in fisheries management, including MCS planning and implementation exercises, the potential for successful implementation of these plans is much greater. Alternatively, lack of attention to these aspects often results in non-compliance, alienation of the fisheries sector and even active subversion of the intended fishery management plan.

The well-known independence of fishers tends to hamper the creation of strong organizations in the fishery industry. Fisheries managers should nevertheless help fishers recognie the advantages of developing such organizations in order to enter into successful partnerships with governments in the management of fisheries. Through such organizations, fishers can provide collective input into management plans, including MCS.

There are simply not enough resources to monitor all fishing activities adequately and to ensure compliance with fishing regulations. MCS can no longer be viewed solely as a police function, with enforcement as its only real focus. Although MCS activities do include enforcement, many States are involving stakeholders in the development of acceptable, responsible and sustainable management planning and implementation.

In the past, most States did not involve MCS personnel in fisheries planning due to a perception that MCS is only concerned with enforcement and has no relevance in planning. This frequently resulted in management plans that could not be fully implemented. Another common mistake regarding offshore fisheries was to involve the fishing industry at initial stages, but then to produce the final plan without input from either the industry or MCS experts.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the emphasis shifted to community-based management in the coastal sector. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were engaged to educate the fishers to take over the management of their fisheries. Here the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme, resulting in increased confrontation between fisheries organizations, NGOs and local authorities. Again, very seldom were MCS personnel involved in these educational campaigns or the ensuing management planning exercises; often little attention was given to how community-based management measures would be monitored and enforced.

Stakeholder involvement is an essential element in all integrated marine resource management. Stakeholders must participate with government officials as joint resource stewards not only in planning the management regime, but also in developing strategies to strengthen the MCS system. This might involve, for example, establishing a verifiable data collection system, contributing to regulatory reform processes, and playing a role in surveillance and enforcement activities.

By involving stakeholders in the development of MCS plans and the regulatory system and by keeping them informed, States will greatly increase the probability that management plans will be successfully implemented. Involved stakeholders will not only know and understand the rules and the rationale for their development, but will also be more inclined to comply with them voluntarily. This, in turn, makes it possible for a State to focus its limited enforcement resources on a smaller percentage of offenders. In other words, by adopting a participatory approach to the development and implementation of MCS systems, the effectiveness of the systems should be substantially increased at no additional cost. In some cases the cost of MCS activities may even be reduced.

3.5 Synopsis of Design Considerations

Reviews of successful national and regional MCS systems have produced the following findings.

a) There are no universally applicable models; each MCS system must be adapted to the cultural, geographic, political and legal framework of the State or region concerned.

b) The political will of the State (or strong national government support of a regional body) is an absolute requirement for a successful MCS scheme.

c) The operational character of the system will depend on management decisions.

d) Legal and policy considerations must always be taken into account when establishing an MCS system.

e) National and regional MCS activities must complement each other.

f) Stakeholder involvement is key to successful implementation of management and MCS plans.

After assessing the geographic, demographic, economic and political context for the MCS system, a State should consider how the MCS system will be implemented. This will influence the design of an appropriate MCS system. Consideration should include: the most cost-effective and efficient system for the agency; the legal framework that will be required and will be accepted by the fishers; the coordination of agencies and ministries; training, infrastructure, organizational support mechanisms; and funding sources. The following chapter highlights these points, with examples of options that have proved effective in the past.

Community meeting for participatory management - Indonesia

[51] A point for consideration in MCS system development is that area controls are often easier to enforce than species or catch restrictions. For example, a strategy to establish a foreign, or offshore fishing zone that is restricted to an area outside a certain distance, say 12 to 15 nautical miles, is much easier to enforce than a strategy where foreign or offshore fishers are permitted in inshore/coastal, or closed areas when fishing for certain species or certain times of the year. The latter necessitates a verification of fishing catches and site monitoring, while the former only requires geographic confirmation of locations of fishing activities.
[52] The obligations of the flag State in this regard are discussed in Chapter 4, sections 4.2 and 4.3, especially sub-section 4.3.9.
[53] In Malaysia, for example the value of fisheries is relatively high, even though their contribution to the GNP is low. This is due to the government's emphasis on environment, food security and employment as well as recognition of the contribution of fisheries to other industries such as tourism.
[54] Information drawn primarily from Long and Curran (2000).
[55] Ibid p. 339.
[56] Ibid. p. 346.
[57] CCRF, Article 6, para 6.5.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page