July 2023 - Per Erik Bergh (CEO and Managing Director), JD Kotze (Investigator) and Andréa Durighello (Fisheries Expert) travelled to Cape Town, South Africa, together with the Interim Project Management Unit (IPMU) of the SADC Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC), to conduct a training on risk assessments of fishing vessels and operators.
This five-day visit was conducted as part of the project SADC Atlantic, a US-funded project of the SADC and the SADC MCSCC, which aims at supporting South Africa as well as the two other countries of the Benguela Current Convention – Angola and Namibia – to build their internal MCS capacities and develop strong engagement in the MCS regional centre, thereby contributing to regional efforts to stop illegal fishing.
Over five days, 35 fisheries compliance officers from Cape Town as well as representatives from Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London, were provided with various instruments and recommendations to improve their work practices when dealing with fishing vessels and operators. A key message of the training: risk assessment is a very useful MCS tool to support fishing inspections and keep IUU fishing operators out of South Africa’s waters.
A combination of theory and practical work in the port – through inspection exercises with body-worn cameras – allowed participants to acquire ground knowledge about the conduct of risk assessments, and to make concrete recommendations on how to implement those learnings in their day-to-day work. The training will be followed by mentoring activities, to ensure a continuous coaching of the fisheries compliance officers.