September 2022 — Judith Swan (Legal Expert) and JD Kotze (MCS Expert) provided training support to a three-day Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Regional Training Course held at the Maritim Resort & Spa, Mauritius from 13 – 15 September 2022.
The training themed ‘Evidence in Fisheries Offences: Effective Collection and Use, Laws, Procedures, Prosecutions, IUU Vessel Listing’ was attended by legal and MCS officials from Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania. It was based on a manual that has been prepared by NFDS for IOTC.
Financial support was provided by the World Bank South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (SWIOFish2) through the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
Mr. Marc Maminiaina, IOC Chargé de Mission for governance and security, sustainable agriculture and fisheries, welcomed the participants and noted the fundamental importance of capacity building for the implementation of IOTC conservation and management measures; and of ensuring that the tuna sector contributes to economic and social development in the region. In his presentation, Mr. Carlos Palin, IOTC compliance expert, explained the objective and methodology of the project. He also discussed the prevalence of IUU fishing in the IOTC area and encouraged participants to consider the risks they may encounter in their areas of jurisdiction.
Mr Kotze presented on the impact of successful evidence gathering in combating IUU fishing in the region, the challenges/results of evidence gathering, national MCS capacity to implement legislation, the powers and duties of fisheries inspectors and inspection and investigation procedures. Ms Swan presented several topics from a legal standpoint.
When closing the regional training, Mr Palin emphasized that participants, with their strengthened capacity, should now start to plan how they will leverage the knowledge and material upon return to their respective countries. He also encouraged the ongoing use of the manual prepared by NFDS.