The Sixth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop in Bangkok, Thailand attracted representatives from 63 countries, including Australia.
Held every two years, the workshop aims to improve the capacity of practitioners to enforce fisheries legislation and provides a useful opportunity to exchange information and build on the extensive networks of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) partners around the world.
This year’s theme, Closing the net: Global cooperation between flag, coastal, port and market States for effective enforcement of international and domestic law, included discussions on:
- regional cooperation and participation in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and other formal regional agreements,
- data-sharing locally and globally,
- resourcing issues that requires innovative solutions to problems,
- the need for more cost effective MCS surveillance tools,
- the value of traceability in the supply chain, such as technological advances in species identification, provenance, and emerging technologies, and
- transhipment and the challenges around the accuracy or credibility of seafood harvesting in international waters, and the flow-on effects for stock assessments and sustainability.
The Australian Fisheries Management Authority has had close involvement with the Network since its inception and continues to support efforts that build regional capacity and expand the network of practitioners that work to detect and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. This year’s workshop built on outcomes achieved in past years, raising awareness of the importance of working together on MCS issues and developing new and stronger relationships with international MCS partners.
The workshop discussed measures that have been proven to combat IUU fishing as well as the opportunities that emerging MCS tools and technologies provide in responding to common challenges. The workshop also noted the use of fishing vessels as agents for other criminal activity and the importance of working closely at the interagency level to ensure authorities are able to target resources to areas of greatest risk.
AFMA works closely with the international community and other Australian Government agencies to ensure those who try to profit from IUU fishing operations are caught and punished.