The IMCS Network, in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, held the 7th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 31 July to 4 August 2023. The theme of the Workshop was Moving from Words to Action – Innovative Collaborative Partnerships to Combat IUU Fishing. This theme recognises the urgent need for the global community to take meaningful, robust and sustainable action now to protect the world’s oceans. The Workshop Agenda covered several sub-themes including international and regional cooperation and partnerships, risk assessment and data analysis, MCS for coastal and community fisheries, technology, transparency and transshipment.
The Workshop was opened with a traditional blessing by Elder Charlotte Bernard of the Mi'kmaw First Nation. Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Government of Canada provided a keynote address and participants were welcomed by Heather McCready, Director General of Conservation and Protection at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Gary Orr, the Chair of the IMCS Network. All spoke to the unwritten, and maybe the real theme of the Workshop, that we are about our people and that we are stronger together.
"Water is life. I was taught to think seven generations ahead. That is why the work you are doing here is so important."
Elder Charlotte Bernard of the Mi'kmaw First Nation
"After several years of being apart, it was a joy to be with so many people from all over the world, with the shared commitment of protecting the world’s oceans from IUU fishing."
Heather McCready, Canada
"He aha te mea e kaha ai tatou, what makes us strong? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata, it is people, it is people, it is people."
Gary Orr, Chair IMCS Network
Over the five days, participants heard from many of our members, observers and partners as they shared their experiences and challenges and provided insights on how their experiences may be relevant to others. The presentations provided valuable insights into emerging issues and innovative responses from across the globe. Each sub-theme session was followed by a panel discussion that provided the opportunity for participants to directly engage with presenters and each other. Throughout the Workshop, participants were introduced to effective compliance strategies, fisheries law enforcement best practices and interactive discussions about the MCS challenges and innovations for fisheries. Tabletop exercises, panel discussions and breakout sessions were designed to ensure participants are engaged and gain the opportunity to develop networks with their counterparts across the globe.
Moving from Words to Action – Innovative Collaborative Partnerships to Combat IUU Fishing