Fisheries inspectors hone skills to better deal with IUU fishing


30-November-2011

Minister Sinon (at podium) addressing the delegates

Ten inspectors from Mozambique, led by their country’s director of fisheries surveillance Manuel Castiano, are meeting their Seychellois counterparts this week at the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) training room.

The training workshop being held under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) is being conducted by fisheries experts from Seychelles and the IOTC.

The week-long training was officially launched Monday morning by the Investment, Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon in the presence of other high officials from the same ministry and the IOTC executive secretary Alejandro Anganuzzi, among other guests.

Addressing those present, Mr Sinon said IUU fishing has been and remains a great concern not only for countries with available resources but consumers worldwide are now becoming more aware of the threat to fish sustainability and they want to know where the fish on their plate comes from.

He said it is the duty and responsibility of Seychelles, which has the major transshipping port in the region, to be able to answer questions pertaining to the traceability of fish going through our port.

The workshop follows the adoption last year of an IOTC resolution based on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) legally binding Port State measures to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing. It calls on member states to reinforce their capacity in the fight against IUU fishing and to take actions against vessels involved and those supporting such activities.

“It is for this reason that Mozambique and Seychelles through the SFA have agreed to host this training workshop for their inspectors,” said Mr Sinon.

The minister noted that Seychelles being the hub for purse seiners, our inspectors have vast knowledge of conducting inspections on those vessels while our Mozambican counterparts are more use to inspecting industrial long-liners. Through this collaborative joint-workshop the inspectors will share their experience and lessons learnt, Mr Sinon pointed out.

Mr Castiano said Mozambique joined the IOTC last year and is doing its utmost to fulfill its obligations as a member state and this joint capacity building initiative further shows its commitment to fight IUU fishing.

Mr Anganuzzi said the IOTC encourages such initiatives and will continue to support and promote them.

During the week-long training programme, the inspectors will learn more about the various tuna species, the management framework, the structure, functions, conservation and management measures of the IOTC.

Visits to the industrial fishing port to watch landing/transshipment operations in progress have also been planned, among other activities. 

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