Officers learn about monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, MONDAY 29 JUNE 2009: Fisheries and compliance officers from Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu are in Honiara this week to learn more about monitoring, control and surveillance of illegal fishing.

The Week 5 FFA Component of the National Fisheries Officers’ Surveillance Course opened today in Honiara at the FFA Conference Centre. This is the final week in the 5-week course, the rest of the course being conducted by AMC Search Ltd in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.

The Course is an annual event funded by the Australian Department of Defence and facilitated by staff of the Australian Maritime College and the FFA. The course is aimed at developing expertise and capacity of national officers responsible for monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing in the region.

At FFA, the officers will learn more about regional and subregional agreements, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the upcoming Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance Strategy, fisheries observer programmes, fisheries compliance issues, the FFA Vessel Monitoring System and surveillance exercises. They will also visit the Solomon Islands Police Force Maritime Unit and fishing vessels in Honiara harbour as part of the learning exercises in the course.

A total of 159 staff from Pacific Islands countries have completed the course from 1995 to 2009.