Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


Training requirements for Fisheries Officers will vary in every country due to many factors, not the least being the level of the fisheries knowledge and the corresponding standards of education in the State. There have been two major fisheries training needs assessments in the past few years, one in the South Pacific for FFA and a second in the Caribbean for the CARICOM Fisheries Resource Assessment and Management Program. Although the details varied with respect to the training required, it was noted that training should be an ongoing exercise and there should be a commitment to enhance the capabilities of fisheries staff as they increase their responsibilities. Training should correspond to the responsibility level of the position and be matched by the general educational level of the recipient. In the Caribbean, for example, the broad categories of fisheries field staff include fisheries assistants, fisheries officers, senior fisheries officers and chief fisheries officers/fisheries directors/fisheries administrators. Each of the general levels has several different titles. It was noted that the shortage of individuals with formal secondary education places pressure on those with said education to accept a much higher level of responsibility and, consequently, their own formal training and educational level needs to be at a high generalist/managerial level to give them the capability to address the wider range of issues, compared to countries where the human resource pool is sufficient to fund and attract specialists. This is more evident as the seniority of the individual increases.

Fisheries Assistants tend to be technical level officers who are in the infancy of their careers and consequently require introductory and hands-on technical training. It is expected that this level of officer would possess a minimum of high school or "A" level formal education to be able to respond appropriately to the training recommended. Officers below this level would be encouraged to upgrade their formal education. The fields of study for these officers should include, in random order, the following:

Fisheries officers, on the other hand, are expected to possess a formal degree in a fisheries or marine related field of study. Their level of training for their duties emphasizes a higher theoretical level of resource management.

Their training should focus on the following:

Senior fisheries officers, and supervisors in the fisheries department, are expected to possess a minimum of a first degree. It was seen as advantageous if such officers have a post-graduate degree in a related field. This level officer, as a supervisor and senior individual in the department, would be called upon to manage personnel and represent the department at meetings regarding ocean use management in general. The individual needs greater knowledge of the integrated ocean management principles and techniques to properly represent the department. The training suggested for this level of officer includes the following subjects:

Fisheries administrators are again expected to have a minimum of a first degree in a related field and considerable field experience. These individuals are the department's representatives to the government and require senior level management skills as well as knowledge and ability in the planning and policy side of fisheries and habitat management. Subject areas identified for this level officer include:[126]

This information is presented as one example of a regional initiative with respect to an assessment of fisheries training required to meet gradually increasing levels of responsibility in the fisheries departments. It might be noted that there appears in the above example a dearth of information on fisheries MCS, except at the final level. This may be true, but it could be expected that the general orientation and the fisheries management training would cover this area of responsibility. It might, however, be clearer if the MCS training commences at the first stage and progressively increases in profile and tasking at each level. Certainly it would be expected that officers would all require considerable training in this area of work with emphasis on the enforcement aspects of MCS, if fisheries are to carry out the surveillance aspects of fisheries management, or guide the other ministry officials seconded to them for this purpose. Fisheries administrators and their field staff would require the knowledge to guide these individuals appropriately in fisheries management techniques and priorities. It does appear common to all training packages for fisheries that the following general subjects are required for fisheries officials to carry out their duties:

It has been found through experience that training for fisheries can best be achieved through the use of modular training techniques. This can assist in minimizing the time the officer needs to be away from duty and permits assimilation of the theoretical knowledge into practical experience between training sessions.

The emphasis and detail for each subject will be determined by the Fisheries Administrators to meet the individual needs of their countries. Training, especially on a regional or subregional basis, is an area of high interest to all donor agencies.

As this paper is focused on MCS, an expansion of that module might assist Fisheries Administrators in planning the training programmes for their staff. It must be noted that the fisheries officer will not be fully qualified to carry out MCS duties following this module, due to the fact that it is the linkage and knowledge of the other training modules which cements the capabilities into a competent whole.

Without setting priorities for the training, some of the task modules[127] which might be concentrated upon during the training would include:

- understanding of the Department's mandate and jurisdiction:

- the purpose and scope of MCS/the objective of the country's MCS policies:

- principles of law:

- the court system:

- introduction to the fisheries laws - acts and regulations:

- the support resources available to address the task:

- the cooperation and linkages with other ministries that are necessary for successful MCS implementation:

- determining MCS priorities:

- planning MCS activities, data collection and surveillance patrols:

- determine the violation:

- apprehend violators:

- arrest alleged violators:

- gathering evidence:

- charge alleged violators:

- court procedures:

- completion of final documentation:

- completion of final procedures:

- review and evaluation of MCS program:

[126] O'Reilly, A. and Clarke, K. (1993).
[127] The CFRAMP Training Needs Assessment, FFA Training Needs Assessment, training programs in Canada, FFA, Belize and USA have been used extensively to produce this summary of training modules.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page