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FAO participates in the sixth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) in Bangkok, Thailand

Department of Fisheries of the Government of Thailand
01/03/2019

Practitioners in fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) and enforcement from around the globe met at the sixth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW6) in Bangkok, Thailand, from 18 to 22 February 2019.

This forum provides an opportunity for regular exchange of information and experiences, for capacity development on the enforcement of fisheries legislation, and to take stock of new developments in MCS tools to combat IUU fishing.

The theme of this year’s conference was “CLOSING THE NET: Global cooperation between flag, coastal, port and market States for effective enforcement of international law”.

The GFETW6 was convened by Thailand’s Department of Fisheries in partnership with the International MCS Network, supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States of America, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Conference offered many opportunities to discuss best practices in MCS and capacity development, especially related to the implementation of the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) and complementary international instruments, and to coordinate project activities in developing coastal States and small island development States (SIDS).

Under its global capacity development programme for the implementation of the PSMA, FAO has an important role to coordinate and prevent duplication of capacity development initiatives, to ensure resources are utilised in the most effective manner and to provide the best and most appropriate technical assistance based on the capacity needs identified.

Matthew Camilleri, Head of the Fisheries Operations and Technology Branch of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, was entrusted with the keynote address, which focused on the role of MCS in the implementation of responsible fisheries management.

He explained how the formulation of a sound policy and legal framework, a management plan based on science, the adoption of fisheries regulations, and the effective implementation of these instruments through MCS and enforcement form the elements of a well-functioning fisheries management process, and that these are closely interrelated with the necessity of comprehensive data collection, research and analysis.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing undermines effective fisheries management at different points of this process, and in different ways, threatening the sustainable management of the fisheries resources.

Dr Camilleri reminded of the importance of widespread, effective application of the PSMA and related international instruments to combat IUU fishing and emphasised the need to enforce laws and regulations, take action and follow cases through to prosecution.

The FAO team further presented on (1) FAO’s capacity development programme to support the implementation of the PSMA, on (2) progress on the development of the PSMA global information exchange platform, with a particular focus on the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record), and on the (3) FAO Global Study on Transshipment.