Observer Programme Manager, Ministry of Fisheries, P.O. Box 297, Wellington, New Zealand.
In June 1985 the New Zealand government announced its intention to establish an observer programme to monitor the activities of vessels fishing in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This was done in order to obtain independent catch and biological information from vessels operating in the then rapidly developing deepwater fishery. At the time there were concerns over mis-reporting, under-reporting and non-reporting of fish dumped or lost from burst trawl nets.
The programme began sea-going operations on 1 April 1986. In the first year observers completed 5,743 sea days. Observer coverage has since averaged 4,000 sea days per year. During the 1998financial year the programme completed 4,642 sea days. 3,753 days were achieved on trawlers and 889 days were on long-liners with all observations conducted for a number of clients who were provided with some or all or the information collected. These clients were: The Ministry of Fisheries' Science Policy Department, The Department of Conservation through the conservation services levy, The Natural History Unit of the Museum of New Zealand, the New Zealand Fishing Industry, The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the Compliance Section of the Ministry of Fisheries and the Conversion Factors Working Group, which is a joint Ministry of Fisheries and Industry working group.
The observer programme employs up to 50 observers on a contract basis where each period of employment is covered by a separate contract. Work availability depends on fishing activity during the year, and because of the spasmodic and seasonal nature of fishing, the Ministry must operate a highly flexible employment regime which by its nature means that employment can not be on a continuous basis. This arrangement suits many observers very well and gives them the flexibility to purse other interests when not under contract. It also provides observers with the opportunity to earn a part-time, flexible income, which suits their lifestyle for a period. The majority of observers, however, eventually leave the programme for the security and comfort of full time employment based on land.
Observers accompany vessels on fishing voyages to collect reliable, accurate and independent catch and effort data, biological information, and other information relevant to the operation of the Quota Management System operated by the New Zealand government.
Observers complete a catch effort logbook on each voyage, which is a more comprehensive and accurate record of the fishing effort and activity than the vessel is required to file. Observers quantify and record every species that is landed from a tow and these quantities are given a tag, which describes the assessment method that was used by the observer in determining the amount recorded.
The observer programme exists because of its expertise in providing high quality and independent statistical and biological data. This data is used by fisheries scientists and policy makers in determining the state of particular fish stocks and has a direct bearing on the livelihood of commercial fishers and quota holders.
Because of its vital role in establishing the health of the fisheries the programme must be seen to be, and prove to be, independent and credible. It is imperative that scientists, policymakers and the industry, whose livelihood can be affected by observer results, respect the integrity of the observer programme. If observer data is in any way incorrect or there is any suggestion of corruption then the impact of the decisions made using this data are significant from a fisheries management perspective. This may result in adverse effects on quota holders, which could have a long-term impact on the future health of that fishery.
A number of the roles that the Ministry of Fisheries performs, including the observer programme, were the subject of a review of public sector roles which might be considered suitable for commercial contest by public and private agencies. After reviewing submissions received on the subject, the Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Fisheries made the announcement that the observer programme would not be the subject of an open tender process. It was decided that the auditing and monitoring of observer services at sea is, at best, problematic. It was also decided that the only effective mechanism for an outside agency to provide such audit and monitoring services, sufficient to provide the assurances required by the Minister and stakeholders, would be to provide a duplicate observer service on-board vessels and it was not believed that this would be efficient or appropriate.
The at sea functions of the observer programme (including catch monitoring, biological and conversion factor data collection, and transhipment supervision) fail an efficiency of delivery test. This is based on the fact that, given the difficulties inherent in monitoring and auditing these services, it is unlikely that any external provider could supply these services more efficiently than the Ministry of Fisheries.
Two observers are usually placed on each vessel to be observed to enable a 24 hr monitoring regime to be operated. In certain circumstances when the fishing operation permits, experienced observers, may undertake solo voyages. This is particularly the case in the tuna and scampi fisheries where vessel size and type are such that only one observer can be accommodated. .
Observers experience a wide variety of living conditions on fishing vessels, which vary depending on the vessel's size, type and nationality. Observers often work in hazardous and arduous conditions, experience rough seas, and live in a foreign culture for extended periods at sea. In the New Zealand fishery observers usually spend 4-6 weeks at sea at a time, although some trips may last up to 3 months.
Both men and women are recruited as observers. Apart from the essential personal qualities such as self-reliance, maturity and adaptability, applicants with data collection and report writing skills are favoured. Other factors such as education, relevant technical qualifications, sea-going experience, cultural experience and foreign language ability, are also taken into consideration at the time of selection.
Observers are given a thorough briefing before they are sent to board a vessel, and trip priorities and requirements are discussed. At the completion of the trip, a debriefing session is held and the observer submits all data, samples, reports etc.
Evaluation of the observer's performance and suitability continues throughout their time with the programme with performance appraisals being completed at the end of each contract. These appraisals consider a number of factors. The observer's attitude to the briefing and debriefing process is recorded and the achievement and execution of trip priorities accessed. The appropriateness of the assessment techniques used to estimate the catch is evaluated along with the level of accuracy of logbook calculations and the completion of data forms (e.g. pan/glazing tests, conversion factor tests, biological data gathered, marine mammal and seabird forms and authority to abandon fish forms). It is also noted if samples collected during the trip were labelled, packaged and transported correctly. It is also determined if equipment issued was properly maintained and returned in good order. Safety issues are addressed and it is noted if weekly catch reports and notification of departure were advised.
New observers are required to successfully complete an intensive 2-week training course, which is a pre-requisite before commencing duties. The purpose of the course is to make observers proficient in all of an observer's tasks, especially the collection of reliable catch effort and processing data. Included in the training are species recognition, identification of marine mammals and the quantification of catches, losses and discards of all quota and non-quota species. Observers are also trained in transhipment and in-port unloading supervision.
Observers are taught to carry out tests on the recovery achieved by the processing systems the vessel may be using. These regularly conducted tests allow greenweight to product weight factors to be calculated The results are provided to the Ministry of Fisheries Policy Department which uses this information to produce a Ministry of Fisheries gazette of conversion factors.
Fishing companies can also request observers to carry out conversion factor tests in order that a vessel be granted a vessel specific conversion factor. This is a cost recovery function with all relevant costs being charged to the fishing company. Policy may impose certain conditions before a vessel specific conversion factor certificate can be issued, and it may require observers to carry out tests on spawning, pre-spawning and post spawning fish stocks.
Observers are also given a working knowledge of relevant fisheries legislation. However, observers are not enforcement officers. If they suspect a breach of New Zealand fisheries legislation, they are obliged to document it. They may be required to give statements to compliance staff and, on occasion, to act as witnesses in legal proceedings. The information collected by observers allows for a comparison to be made with that supplied by the vessel. The geographical positions that observers document are particularly useful for checking the position data supplied through the on board automatic location communicators. All the information that observers collect is available to the compliance team and a number of compliance operations have been based on information provided by observers. Observers are critical to the deepwater compliance regime, and the information gathered by observers provides a benchmark for comparison with the information provided by the fishers.
Problems associated with observers being perceived as having a compliance function while on vessels have been addressed in legislative instruments, which clearly state that observers do not have the powers of fishery officers. The observer programme is also, by design, very transparent and open on the issue that all information collected by observers is available to the compliance unit. These two factors go a long way towards alleviating industry concerns over this issue.
On every trip observers also record and collect rare and unusual specimens for the Museum of New Zealand, which holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of New Zealand EEZ marine animals in the world. Observers have collected a significant number of the marine specimens held by the Museum.
The Department of Conservation also uses the observer programme. Through the Department's conservation services levies, number of seadays are purchased to obtain information on vessel interactions and captures of non-fish bycatch. This is particularly important in the squid trawl fishery around the Auckland Islands, where captures of New Zealand sealions occur. The New Zealand sealion is New Zealand's only endemic marine mammal and is listed as a threatened species. In former seasons the Minister of Fisheries has closed the squid trawl fishery due to the number of captures of New Zealand sealions reported by observers. The Department of Conservation also has a major interest in captures of seabirds, which is of particular concern in the long-line fisheries.
The Ministry of Fisheries also has a number of international obligations to meet with regard to the provision of observer coverage. New Zealand is a member state of CCAMLR, which requires observer presence onboard all vessels that are granted a permit to fish within the Antarctic region covered by CCAMLR. In the course of this coverage the Ministry of Fisheries has recently been involved in experimental line weighting trials using time depth recorders to monitor vessels achieving a consistent line sink rate which avoids the incidental bycatch of seabirds. Vessels shown to meet these criteria are permitted to set their lines during daylight hours in the CCAMLR region, which is a distinct advantage to vessels operating in this area.
The area of most difficulty in achieving the aims of the observer programme is that experienced when arranging observer coverage. Coverage is arranged by target species and therefore, a large amount of co-operation is needed with the fishing industry. This is achieved through continual communication with the fishing companies that operate charter vessels, domestic vessels, or a combination of the two. Since the fishing industry pays for the operation of the observer programme through imposed levies, they also have a desire to see that observer coverage occurs where there is a need for stock assessment data to be collected.
In essence, the major strengths of the observer programme operated by the New Zealand, Ministry of Fisheries, are the experience and expertise of the personnel involved and the provision of high quality and independent statistical and biological data.
Andrew R. Smith
Fishery Industry Officer, *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome 00100, Italy.
Abstract: One of the roles of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to assist developing countries to manage their fisheries. This is particularly the case in countries which are unable to fully harvest the resources within their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and thereby allow access to the vessels of other flag states in order to harvest these resources under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Under such conditions there is a requirement for the coastal state to monitor the activities of these vessels, and their own industrial vessels, to ensure that they are complying with the conditions of access and to collect data on catches. An additional reason for position monitoring of these larger vessels is to ensure that they do not come into conflict with the artisanal fleet. The ability of developing countries to conduct monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) and the activities of FAO in this regard is the subject of the following review. The national or regional needs for MCS depend on a range of factors. In order that administrations can carry out a preliminary analysis of the various costs of monitoring, control and surveillance, a hypothetical case study is presented listing the main advantages, disadvantages and costs of the various MSC methods available in order that developing countries can adapt their "shopping" list to meet their budget.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has a global mandate to promote and, where appropriate, to recommend national and international action pertaining, inter alia, to fisheries research, conservation and development. This mandate has been used by the FAO to respond to the needs and requests of its members on national, regional and global levels during a period when the regimes of the oceans in general, and those of fisheries in particular, have gone through a number of fundamental changes.
FAO, in addition to its global mandate in fisheries, provides support mainly to Low Income Deficit countries (LIFDs). However another group of countries becomes important with regard to MCS. These are the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), these island countries have had large areas of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) allocated to them, compared to their land area. The costs of monitoring these areas are usually beyond the capabilities of the individual countries.
Following the UNCLOS Agreement, FAO established a specific programme for the conservation and management of EEZ fisheries resources, which was known as the FAO EEZ Programme. The objectives of this programme were to (i) strengthen the capabilities of coastal countries and groupings of countries to manage and develop their fisheries (ii) promote rational management and the full use by developing countries of fishery resources in their EEZs, and (iii) strengthen efforts of developing countries to secure a greater share of, and higher benefits from, living marine resources as part of initiatives to establish a New International Economic Order (NIEO).
FAO also stressed the need for developing members to receive fair compensation for fish harvested by foreign fleets within their respective EEZs, and for measures to be adopted that would minimise unauthorised fishing. To this end, FAO sponsored a number of workshops to assist developing members design and implement policies and practices for the collection of fisheries data and access fees from foreign fishing vessels. Moreover, the possibility of using fisheries joint ventures as a form of international collaboration and as a means of extracting reasonable returns for fish taken within EEZs of developing members was promoted by FAO. A number of workshops were funded under the FAO/Norway EEZ Programme in the 1980s.
The artisanal sub sector, however, still dominates fishing in developing countries, except for a few Asian (China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines), Latin American (Chile, Peru) and African (South Africa, Namibia and Morocco) countries which also have a substantial industrial sector. Some governments are reluctant to take the necessary steps to protect the national fisheries sector. Reluctance is particularly high with regard to assigning and allocating exclusive use rights to their own fishers, when the income from fisheries agreements with foreign fleets constitutes a major source of hard currency for the country (e.g. Bangladesh and Mozambique).
It is increasingly realised that the best prospects for strengthening the MCS capacity of developing states lies in regional co-operation. Indeed, given the scarcity of resources with which to support national MCS programmes and the variable results achieved from these programmes, developing states with common fishing and fishing interests have demonstrated that significant progress towards enhancing fisheries conservation and management can be made through regional MCS initiatives. Developing states are therefore being urged to assess and address MCS both in terms of national programmes and through regional, co-operative networks.
There are more than twenty regional and sub-regional fishery bodies whose mandates include the conservation and management of high seas fisheries. Some have full regulatory powers while others have an advisory role related to management issues. The functions of these bodies vary from dealing with a single species or a group of closely related species such as the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to a more regional approach, covering a whole range of species, such as the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). FAO have a number of regional bodies which mainly concern developing countries. These are listed in Table 1. Up until now these have been run mainly with FAO Regular Programme funding, but efforts are currently being undertaken to try and make these programmes self funding.
Table 1. Conventions, Agreements, and FAO Regional bodies of particular concern to developing countries.
|IMO Conventions impacting on Fishing Vessels||International Fishing Agreements and Conventions||FAO Regional
FAO Compliance Agreement * (not in force) 1993
UN conservation and management of straddling stocks and highly migratory fish stocks Agreement (not in force) 1995
FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (voluntary) 1995
Table abbreviations: SOLAS: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, MARPOL: International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, STCW: The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (1995 - not in force), SFV: The Torremolinos International Convention for the Safety of Fishing Vessels, (See also: http://www.imo.org/convent/index.htm), UNCLOS: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, *Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas, WECAFC : The Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission, CECAF : The Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic, GFCM : General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean, APFIC : The Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission, IOTC : The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, IOFC : The Indian Ocean Fishery Commission, CARPAS : The Regional Fisheries Advisory Commission for the Southwest Atlantic, EIFAC : The European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission, CIFA : The Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa, COPESCAL : The Commission for Inland Fisheries of Latin America, ICCAT : International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, CCSBT: Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
See also: http://www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/FISHERY/body/nonfa.asp.
Unlike fisheries in industrialised countries, the fisheries sectors in most developing countries are dominated by artisanal producers. Fish production by artisanal fisher folk accounts for roughly 25% of the world catch and for about 40% of the fish used for direct human consumption.
Given the political climate in the 1980s following the UNCLOS agreement it would have been reasonable to have expected the fleets of distant-water fishing nations (DWFNs) to have decreased and the fleets of the new coastal states to have increased. However an examination of fleet data shows that the fleets of the DWFNs continued to expand throughout the 1980s and the fleets of the new coastal nations to show very little, if any, increase. There are of course exceptions to this rule such as Argentina and some of the Latin American countries. Morocco, India, Philippines, and Indonesia also increased the size of their fleets of industrial vessels in the 1980s. For the vast majority of developing countries of Africa and Asia, however, the fleet sizes have not increased.
Prior to the advent of UNCLOS, 12 N.M. territorial seas were the norm and there was little requirement for extensive MCS patrolling, as most of the area within national jurisdiction could be visually observed by an observer on shore. Any vessel suspected of contravening national jurisdiction could be investigated by specific interventions by the coastguard or by the navy as appropriate. The extension of EEZs increased the area under national jurisdiction well beyond sight, and in order to monitor activities beyond visual range, expensive marine and aerial patrols to prevent incursions by poaching vessels was required. The costs of such patrols were and continue to be excessive for developing countries and in many cases patrols were not undertaken and poaching could normally be undertaken with impunity.
The introduction of vessel monitoring systems (VMS), has had an even greater impact in developing countries, particularly with regard to the cost/benefit aspects of VMS. (See Appendices) The particular problems that developing countries will face in the implementation of VMS has been addressed in the FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries - Fisheries Operations (Supplement 1) - Vessel Monitoring Systems. This publication details the possible weakness in developing countries where the local telephone systems are very poor, even when Internet access is provided. As a last resort a fisheries administration can always have a shore based Inmarsat receiver. Vessel monitoring will only be useful, however, for monitoring compliant vessels and will not solve the issue of non-compliant vessels. It would appear appropriate, therefore, for future technological developments in satellite technology to progress from satellite monitoring (of compliant vessels) to satellite surveillance (of non-compliant vessels). Unfortunately, although the appropriate technology has been identified, the technology is still too expensive for even developed countries to adopt and even in these countries there are additional issues to be addressed to ensure that VMS is as widely adopted in fisheries management systems as possible. These are;
- The adoption of standardised message formats, and
- The use of electronic logbooks.
In 1986 the problem of identification of vessels at sea was addressed by the international community at a Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The meeting produced recommendations on the marking of fishing vessels which endorsed the use of the radio call sign (RCS) which is allocated to the vessel under the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulations. Such a call sign indicates the nationality of the vessel by the first two digits in the call sign and the call sign in its entirety is a unique identifier. Many coastal states have made compliance with these recommendations mandatory for foreign vessels fishing in their EEZ.
Under the recent Fisheries Agreements such as the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Compliance Agreement and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the mechanisms exist for countries ratifying the agreements, where appropriate, to inspect the vessels of other flag states to ensure that they are complying with these agreements. Port State Control should not be seen as a concept in which the Port State is seen as unrealistically imposing its own standards on vessels of another Flag State, nor as a means to usurp the rights and privileges of the Flag State. It should be viewed in the light of the Port State assisting the Flag State to implement its responsibilities under the various international agreements to which it is a signatory.
Earlier attempts to establish cost effective MCS off West Africa involved the "privatising" of the MCS in Sierra Leone. The rational was that the revenue generated by licensing foreign vessels and the collection of fines imposed on offenders would finance the privatised MCS. Unfortunately the costs exceeded the revenues and the venture collapsed, leaving a vacuum. The possibility of such commercial ventures disintegrating because of losses and leaving a vacuum, vis-à-vis poorly funded government measures (generally incurring costs) which tend to survive, must be taken into account.
More recent initiatives in MCS are centred on a project entitled "Monitoring Control and Surveillance of Industrial Fishing" The donor is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the executing agency is the FAO and Lux-Development. Participating countries are Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone. These countries are members of the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (CRSP) with the addition of Sierra Leone. The project proposed is a continuation and extension of the AFR/101 Project (FAO). The resources and strategies proposed are as follows;
- To ensure more efficient and more profitable aerial surveillance with corresponding maritime controls;
- To strengthen the secretariat of the CSRP in its role of general co-ordination and more particularly support, training and planning with regard to MCS;
- To establish a Surveillance Operations Co-ordinations Unit (the SOCU) under the auspices of the CSRP, and
- To pursue resources to generate sub-regional funds to promote lasting common activities.
These countries face the central problem of the existence of a significant number of illegal fishing activities in the sub-region. The aerial missions of the project have allowed the identification of more and more infringements: 1105 alleged offenders for a sample of 6774 ships observed, from July 1995 to July 1998. The losses incurred by such activities do not relate only to food, which is of value to the local population, but also job opportunities and foreign currency revenue from exports of fish. These illegal fishing activities contribute to the destruction of the marine ecosystems, have a bearing for fisheries planning and reduce the economic benefits of the operations of the fishing sector of the countries concerned.
The reinforcement of the control of industrial fishing will help the traditional fisherman, particularly by protection against the encroachment of industrial fleets and their incursion into the areas reserved for this purpose. In some instances the traditional industry which supplies the popular local markets has not managed to cope with internal demand and some countries are even obliged to import fish caught off their own coasts.
The southern group of countries which are member states of the CSRP, notably Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone, constitute a major priority for the project. In fact, experience has shown that the incidence of illegal fishing is much greater in the waters of these countries than in the waters of the other member states.
Conversely, Namibia has a very rigorous form of MCS, based on the monitoring of all landings, the placement of observers on most major vessels and the deployment of two fisheries patrol vessels, a fixed wing aircraft and a helicopter. Immediately after independence, foreign vessels were fishing illegally in Namibian waters. Effective surveillance operations resulted in a number of arrests and severe penalties being imposed by the Namibian courts. Since then, there has been no systematic problem with illegal fishing by foreign vessels. Surveillance is now directed towards ensuring compliance with applicable laws by licensed vessels. The Ministry of Fisheries and Natural Resources presently engages 200 observers, but the vessels fund the salaries. An auditing firm invoices the owners based on a docket signed by the vessel's master. The fees are then paid into an Observer Distribution Account, and after deduction of taxes and social security, the balance is paid directly to the observer. The functions of this system are currently being transferred into a parastatal.
The course for observers takes 16 weeks of theoretical training, followed by 8-12 weeks in-service training on board the vessels. Emphasis is given in recruiting at the appropriate academic level and avoiding higher qualified staff that would be unsatisfied with the working conditions and salaries. Commercial biological sampling was introduced in 1997, whereby observers are being trained to perform sampling at various stages in accordance with international standards. This allows the observer to undertake a scientific role in addition to the original policing function. The observer programme underpins the whole Namibian individual quota based fisheries management system, and allows it to monitor quota management and by-catch regimes. Specifically it prevents high-grading and stops discarding of by-catches which are subject to fees. Under this ban over quota by-catch has to be landed but is subject to a fine that makes it uneconomic for vessels to target by-catch species. VMS has been less of a priority in Namibia because of the effectiveness of the observer programme, but there has been an experimental VMS in place, and VMS is being proposed to back up the observer programme particularly in the orange roughy fishery where there is a complex system of area quotas and requirements to distribute effort for exploratory purposes.
The fisheries in Namibia are recognised as being somewhat unique in Africa. Fisheries exports are now in the range of $500 million/year and fish stocks are reported to be recovering after two years of low TACs. The provision of MCS is therefore considered commensurate with its resources, but this level might not be appropriate for less fortunate countries with less abundant fish stocks. It is reported that the recently discovered stocks of orange roughy are in the order of 300,000 t, but a precautionary approach is being adopted towards these and other deep water stocks. Of interest in this nascent fishery is the discovery of schooling orange roughy of a small size, which has not been seen elsewhere.
In North Africa, MCS does not constitute a problem as the countries have not claimed their EEZs. Syria has claimed the most extensive zone of 35 nautical miles. This means that most of the Mediterranean is effectively high seas and it is reported that up to 50 long liners have been fishing there for tuna in the past few years.
Off East Africa, the lack of an effective regime in Somalia renders any effective MCS impossible and Mozambique also has very little MCS capability.
The Latin American countries have reasonably well developed VMS with reasonable levels of Naval and Coastguard patrols where appropriate. Argentina, Chile and Peru are all reported as having VMS operational or very near the operational stage. The MCS programmes in these countries are well supported by Navy or Coastguard vessels. In the northern countries and in Central America, however, potential problems and conflicts may occur with enforcement when weapons are generally available to the general public.
Many of the small island states of the Caribbean have poorly developed MCS systems, mainly because of the artisanal status of their fisheries. The 200 mile EEZs have been poorly monitored and vessels poaching in the area would be hard to detect because they do not come into contact with the artisanal fleet. The countries of the Lesser Antilles have benefited from the FIMLAP Programme where an agreed Harmonisation of Fisheries Legislation has been achieved.
The fisheries of the Middle East and south east Asia are dominated by artisanal fisheries, and there is still an attitude that MCS should only be dealing with large foreign vessels. However, given the extent of the landings made by the artisanal fleet it is obvious that the management of these fisheries will have to include artisanal vessels. In the region, small vessels regularly travel large distances to fish in the waters of other countries. Pakistani and Sri Lankan vessels fish in Somali waters and the operational range of the Thai fishing fleet is widespread.
The planning of a comprehensive MCS capability requires an accurate assessment of the fisheries that are to be managed. Very often MCS develops as an ad hoc provision with elements being added where necessary. Unfortunately, the running costs of operation are often not taken into account in the planning phase and elements such as patrol craft and aerial surveillance are added by donors with no guarantee that the running costs will be met by the host government in the future. This results in systems where excessive running costs mean that expensive equipment is lying idle. Periodically, the cost effectiveness of the MCS programme should be reviewed. This intermediate level of analysis is often missing between government administrators and the practical, technical level of the VMS in use. FAO has attempted to analyse the costs and the effectiveness of different components of MCS and how they can be arranged in a complementary form to create an effective VMS. This self-explanatory assessment is given in Appendices I to IV.
BURKE, W.T. 1982. Fisheries regulation under extended jurisdiction and international law. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No.223, Rome, FAO, 23pp.
CLEVELAND, B.C. (ed.) 1986. Adjustments to changes in fisheries law and economics. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No 269, Rome, FAO, 115pp.
DOULMAN, D.J. 1994. Technical Assistance in Fisheries monitoring and surveillance: a history perspective of FAO's role. FAO Fisheries Circular, No. 882, Rome, FAO, 22pp.
FLEWWELLING, P. 1995. An introduction to monitoring, control and surveillance for capture fisheries. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No. 338, Rome, FAO, 217pp.
HANNESON, R. 1990. Studies on the role of fishermen's organisations in fisheries management. Theoretical considerations and experience from industrialised countries. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No. 300: 1-30.
KONSTAPEL, K. & NOORT, L. Fisheries in Developing Countries: Towards sustainable use of living aquatic resources. Sectoral policy document of Development Cooperation No 9. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, Netherlands.
KURIEN, J. 1990. Studies on the role of fishermen's organisations in fisheries management: The role of fishermen's organisations in developing countries (with particular reference to the Indo-Pacific region). FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No. 300: 31-52.
MARASHI, S.H. 1996. The role of FAO regional fisheries bodies in the conservation and management of fisheries. FAO Fisheries Circular, No. 916. Rome, FAO, 65pp.
VAN HELVOORT, G. 1986. Observer program operations manual. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap., No. 275, 207p.
|Description of Monitoring||No of
|Effectiveness of Monitoring of||Amount of Time Observed||Effectiveness of Detection of Unlicensed Vessels||Coverage at Sea||Cost
|Power of Arrest|
|By Vessel||Identification by sight and boarding for Inspection||12/day||High||High||Medium||Low||Low||High||300 sq. miles per hr||$500 - $140,000 per day||Yes|
|By Air||Limited to daylight and identification||60/day||High||Low||None||None||Low||High||3000 sq. miles
|$400 - $3000 per hr||No|
|Shore-Based||Inspection of catch and fishing gear. Coastal Surveillance||15/day||None||High||High||High||Medium||Low||None||$150/day||Yes|
|Observers on Vessels||Continual observation of activities||1||High||High||High||High||High||Medium||High||$200/day||No|
|Vessel Moni-toring System||Periodic Monitoring of Vessels Position||
|High||None||None||High||High||None||Complete for Vessels Fitted||$100,000 +$8,000
|Amount of MCS Recommended||Capital
|Running costs/vessel monitored/day|
|Artisanal Fleet||Shore based||1 Fishery Officer per 100 boats||None||2|
|(vessels < 12m)||By vessel||1 Small Patrol Boat (4 crew)/500 boats||500,000||2|
|Domestic Industrial Fleet||Shore based||1 Fishery Officer per 40 vessels||None||5|
|(12m<vessels<24m)||By Vessel||1 Medium Patrol Boat (10 crew)/500 boats||2 million||6|
|By Air||1 small aircraft/1000 vessels||1 million||5|
|Large Domestic Vessels||Shore Based||1 Fishery Officer/20 vessels||None||10|
|(Vessels >24m)||By Vessel||1 Large Patrol Vessel (30 crew)/100 vessels||10 million||20|
|By Air||1 Medium Aircraft/500 vessels||10 million||25|
|Observer||2 Observers per Vessel (if necessary)||None||400|
|VMS||Recommended for all fleets >50 vessels||100,000||20|
|Foreign Fleet||Shore Based||1 FO/ 10 Vessels for Port State Control||None||20|
|By vessel||1 Large Patrol Vessel (30 crew)/50 vessels||10 million||40|
|By Air||1 medium aircraft/100 vessels||10 million||25|
|Observer||2 Observers per vessel||None||400|
|VMS||Recommended for all fleets >20 vessels||100,000||20|
|No and Category of vessels||Fishery Officers 1||Vessels||Aircraft||Observers||VMS|
|2,000 Artisanal||20||4 inshore|
|500 Medium Domestic||15||1 medium||1 small|
|200 Large Domestic||10||2 large||1 medium||400 (if necessary2)||Recommended|
|50 Foreign Vessels||5||100||Recommended|
1 Observers should only be considered for domestic vessels if considered necessary for environmental reasons or in cases where there is a high probability of non-compliance
2 This is only for inspection and the total establishment for data collection, administration should be doubled
|Inshore vessels (4)||2||1|
|Large vessel (2)||20||20|
|Aircraft, small (1)||1||6|
|Aircraft, medium (1)||10|
|Fishery Officers (100)||7|
|Type of MCS||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|By Vessel||Provides at sea verification that fishing gear and catch is legal. Most important to control Transhipment and arrest particularly of foreign vessels||Very costly|
|By Air||Can provide the best coverage for identification of illegal incursion of unlicensed vessels and also of observation of boxes||Very costly. No ability to arrest. No ability to inspect the catch or fishing gear.|
|Shore based||Lowest running costs and low capital costs. Can monitor landed catch and quotas. Only power of arrest in port.||No possibility of monitoring foreign vessels that do not call at port. No possibility of monitoring transhipment|
|Observers||Can observe all operations||High cost. Only viable on larger vessels.|
|Vessel Monitoring System||Provides almost real time monitoring of position for fitted vessels and can reduce interception times for enforcement craft. Relatively low capital cost and running costs borne by fishing vessel||No coverage for vessels not fitted with the system. Involves cost of 10,000 for the fishing vessel. No detection of unlicensed vessels.|