The First Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
July 18-22, 2005
Towards the end of the 20th century, the international community identified illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as a major constraint on development of sustainable, responsible fisheries. IUU fishing was found to be occurring throughout the world and encompassing a wide range activities within domestic waters and on the high seas. In the 2005 Rome Declaration, adopted on 12 March 2005 by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries, IUU fishing was recognized as having:
In was in this context that the Government of Malaysia in cooperation with the MCS Network, the European Union and the FAO FishCode Programme, convened the first-ever Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (1st GFETW), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 18-22 July 2005. The workshop was attended by a total of 105 participants representing 38 countries and 11 international/intergovernmental organizations, providing them training on a wide range of MCS topics and giving them opportunities to share information and experiences, latest developments, and new ways to improve fisheries enforcement.
Among other subjects, the Workshop reviewed enforcement techniques and MCS operations through individual presentations, case studies and panel discussions. Participants discussed a wide range of tools available to assist countries in dealing more efficiently with IUU fishing, as well as methods of applying these tools through legal systems.
At the end, participants affirmed that the GFETW has proved highly useful in providing an opportunity for them to build contacts and partnerships for future collaboration, and in this regard was clearly a success. At the same time they strongly affirmed that there was extensive scope for capacity building towards more effective MCS, particularly for operational-level fisheries enforcement professionals, administrators and managers in developing countries.
The five-day conference reviewed enforcement techniques and MCS operations, by means of individual presentations, case studies and panel discussions. Participants discussed a range of tools available to assist countries in dealing more efficiently with IUU fishing (e.g., fishery observers, vessel monitoring systems, utilizing customs information, specialized investigations and financial analysis), as well as the methods of applying these tools through legal systems.
An important component of the conference was a series of “how-to” sessions dedicated to explaining the steps to be taken in building a successful case, including incident investigation, evaluation as an infraction, and the ultimate charging and resolution.
Technical experts from many countries and organizations will present information on enforcement topics. There will be plenary training sessions, discussions and ample opportunities for questions and answers on each topic to encourage information sharing. Activities outside the conference setting will facilitate the informal sharing of experiences among participants.
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