AFMA Fisheries Officers carrying out tasks at port. (Photo Credit:AFMA)
Action taken to prevent IUU fishing
Monday, March 23, 2015, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
By strengthening capacity in inspection capability and information sharing in South East Asia, illegal unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing can be combated.
In order to achieve this aim the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) delivered training as part of a workshop on port state measures, vessel inspections and enforcement measures — funded by Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), the authority informed in its website.
This workshop was attended by representatives from 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries including Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The five day workshop covered the implementation of port state measures, Regional Fisheries Management Organisation’s compliance requirements and Monitoring, Control & Surveillance techniques such as vessel inspection procedures including freezer and cold room inspections, volumetrics, interviewing techniques and species identification.
The capacity building training delivered by AFMA, and in particular the close working relationships developed between countries during these (and previous) workshops, have been instrumental in combatting and coordinating the fight against IUU fishing in the South East Asian region. In particular Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have all taken enforcement action against a number of IUU vessels identified by Australia as having contravened Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources conservation measures.
AFMA remarked that enforcement action has included denying access by IUU vessels to their ports, denying resupply or catch landing services and prosecution for offences such as falsifying paperwork. In addition, evidence on nationals engaged in IUU fishing has been gathered and forwarded to those countries that have laws against their nationals engaging in IUU fishing (to date Spain has successfully prosecuted on evidence supplied).
AFMA reported that the participation by the ASEAN representatives was excellent, and all were keen to share their own experiences and continue to work together to combat illegal fishing.