March 7, 2016 (Auckland, New Zealand) The 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (5th GFETW) kicked off today with a traditional Māori Haka–Pōwhiri (Opening Ceremony), including a Kai Karanga (Welcoming call & reply) and Karakia (Opening prayer). Māori culture/life is an important part of New Zealand culture, and the Māori journey to self-governance in its fishing areas was showcased during multiple sessions of the GFETW, including in two keynote speeches later in the week.
The opening ceremony also included Whaikōrero (Speeches by Host nation and visitors). The Host Nation Ministerial Address was delivered by the Honorable Jo Goodhew, Minister of Food Safety and Associate Minister for Primary Industries, New Zealand, followed by a Host Nation Address by Martyn Dunne, Director-General, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand. An Opening Address was also delivered by Cephas Ralph, Chair, International MCS Network.
In the afternoon, Fabio Hazin, Chair of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, opened the first plenary session with a keynote address focused on COFI’s role and past contributions to fighting IUU fishing and how COFI can work together with the international community to combat IUU and ensure sustainability of global fish stocks. Mr. Hazin provided a comprehensive history of COFI, the only global intergovernmental forum where major international fisheries and aquaculture issues are examined and addressed, from its establishment in 1965 to the most recent COFI meeting in 2014.
Presentations in the first session illustrated “International and Regional MCS Cooperation” through presentations about the contributions of CCAMLR, New Zealand, INTERPOL and Spain to ending IUU fishing activities of a number of specific vessels fishing illegally for Patagonian toothfish in the CCAMLR Convention area. In the framework of INTERPOL, 20 countries participated in the investigations that successfully “pierced the corporate veil” and revealed the beneficial owners hiding behind layers of offshore shell companies.