NATION

Meet To Help Counter Illegal Fishing

The first Regional Information Management Facility workshop to counter illegal fishing opened at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Bay Campus in Suva yesterday. Eighteen participants from 10 Forum
15 Nov 2016 11:00
Meet To Help Counter Illegal Fishing
Pacific Fisheries officers attending a five-day workshop on information management framework to counter illegal fishing at the University of the South Pacific Laucala campus this week. The director-general of the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, James Movick (sixth from left). Photo: FFA Media

The first Regional Information Management Facility workshop to counter illegal fishing opened at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Bay Campus in Suva yesterday.

Eighteen participants from 10 Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) member countries were represented. These countries were Fiji, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The five-day training workshop covers a wide range of information management tools, including the soft launch of a new mobile app to assist Monitoring, Control and Surveillance work led by the Pacific nations managing their shared tuna resources.

In his opening speech, FFA Director-General, James Movick said the biggest threat to the fisheries industry is unreported and unregulated fishing in the Pacific region.

“The illegal fishing in the Pacific is generally under the term IUU – illegal, unreported and unregulated – fishing and what we have know is a very low proportion of fishing activity in the region which is purely pirate. The problem now is the lack of sufficient reporting,” Mr Movick said.

“One of the challenges we’ve faced is the access to good data and getting them to fisheries officers for analysis purposes,” said FFA Information Technology Manager, Kenneth Katafono.

Mr Katafono said most officers present in the workshop are compliance officers actively involved in checking if vessels are legal and reporting correctly.

“The launch of the mobile app together with the tools that we have in the National information centre will help the officers catch vessels that might be doing something wrong,” he said.

Mr Katafono hopes the workshop’s training and the tools will help fishery officers manage the huge collection of data and analyse the information better.

“This training will help me better understand the use of the new mobile app for monitoring especially inspection of vessels in our Ports,” said Solomon Islands senior fisheries officer, Jonathon Wara.

Mr Wara said there is a transition from manual to E-Reporting and the training will also allow them to better understand the use of such tools.

The major regional initiative for information and data sharing on the Pacific’s multibillion dollar tuna fisheries will be taking fisheries co-operation to the next level.

Data sharing, fisheries reporting, monitoring, control and surveillance tools are a key part of the Future of Fisheries roadmap against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the Pacific’s Exclusive Economic Zones.

Pacific Tuna Revenue was about US$1.5 billion (FJ$3.12bn) in 2015.

The workshop, which is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Japan, will end on Thursday.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: mere.satakala@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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