The first instalment of the virtual online training programme on "Fisheries Trade Monitoring and Compliance" was hosted by the SADC Secretariat in partnership with Fish FORCE Academy on 5 August to 2 September, 2020.
The objective of the training programme was to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and practical skills relating to the international trade in fisheries products, in order to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and fisheries crime and to support sustainable fisheries management in the region.
The FishFORCE Academy was established in 2016 with financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Academy cooperates with SADC through facilitation of research and innovation in the field of fisheries crime law enforcement; promoting the sustainable utilisation of marine living resources; training of law enforcement officers involved in the protection of marine living resources; and increasing the capacity of selected countries in the region to investigate and prosecute fisheries crimes.
Participants were exposed to information on national, regional and international laws and policies associated with fisheries trade as well as relevant institutions and private sector stakeholders. Training also empowered participants on how to source, extract and analyse fisheries trade and catch data and to conduct comparative analysis of this data towards, enhancing knowledge of possible trade in products sourced through illegal fishing, and to inform fisheries management decision making.
Based on the success of the first offering, FishFORCE Academy has made a commitment to train more people who are involved in governance of fisheries resources to improve and increase capacities to help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the region.
The training was attended by fisheries and customs officials from SADC coastal Member States of Comoros, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as partner State of Kenya.