Two hundred monitoring, control and surveillance professionals from around the world, as well as experts from related fields, met in February for the Fourth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW). CCAMLR's Fishery Monitoring and Compliance Manager, sarah [dot] lenel [at] ccamlr [dot] org (Sarah Lenel), travelled to San Jose, Costa Rica, to attend the meeting.
The GFETW is a biennial conference organised by the International Monitoring Control and Surveillance (IMCS) Network to improve and enhance capacity and communications of MCS professionals from around the world. The 2014 workshop was opened by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, with a keynote address from Johan Williams, Chairman of FAO-COFI.
The workshop had a strong focus on the protection of artisanal and regional fishing communities dependent on sustainable fisheries. There were a range of presentations on broader fisheries issues, including: cost-effective fisheries enforcement, new MCS technologies and methodologies and transnational fishing crime. Updates were presented on the EU's actions towards the international fight against IUU fishing, FAO's Global Record of Fishing Vessels and the implementation of FAO's Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).
The United States presented an overview of their Executive Order on Wildlife Trafficking and Spain discussed their recent experience in tackling IUU fishing. These two presentations highlighted that IUU fishing is becoming a key issue on a number of political agendas. This, combined with the recent work undertaken by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) and INTERPOL, is resulting in some significant progress in addressing the issue of IUU fishing globally.
The workshop also saw the presentation by Michele Kuruc, Acting Senior Vice-President, Marine, World Wildlife Fund, of the first-ever Stop IUU Fishing Award. The first, second and third places were awarded to recognise creative, successful and tangible solutions in MCS in both small- and large-scale fisheries to detect, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
The 5-day workshop was hosted by the IMCS Network in partnership with the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture, the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation (OSPESCA), Conservation International, Marine Scotland, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts and the UK Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).