Announcement of 5th GFETW at COFI 31

New Zealand to Host 5th GFETW in 2016

Update April 17, 2015: The dates have been set for the 5th GFETW in Auckland, 7-11 March 2016. An event prospectus and other documents and information will be posted here throughout May and June 2015.

Announcement Made at Joint Side Event on IUU Fishing at COFI 31

June 9, 2014, Rome, Italy. At the FAO’s 31st Committee on Fisheries meeting, the International MCS Network co-hosted a side event on combating illegal fishing where it was announced that the 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) will be convened in Auckland, New Zealand in 2016.

Jane Willing cropped

In making the announcement, Jane Willing, Director of International Fisheries Management, Ministry of Primary Industries of New Zealand, said she believed strongly in the GFETW as a forum for MCS practitioners. Emphasizing the importance of cooperation to enforce and effectuate laws, she observed that sometimes simple, basic actions can help ensure application of legislation. For instance, certain Pacific island States were able to more effectively enforce legislation after New Zealand provided uniforms to their fisheries inspectors.

The GFETW is a biennial conference organized by the International MCS Network to improve and enhance capacity and communications of MCS professionals from around the world. The Fifth GFETW will build on the past four conferences, which were particularly successful in building trust between MCS professionals. The previous workshops promoted cooperation between enforcement authorities across national borders and facilitated the introduction of new monitoring technologies. The workshops, held in Malaysia, Norway, Mozambique and Costa Rica have raised awareness of the importance of compliance and enforcement of fishing laws.

Please check back in coming months for further information about 5th GFETW in New Zealand.

Note: the illustration on homepage is not the official logo of the 5th GFETW, but it is one example of the colorful submissions to our International Children and Youth Drawing Competition last year. Credit to Andrej Kasperovich, 18, of Lithuania.

The COFI 31 side event was jointly hosted by the IMCS Network, FAO, Pew Charitable Trusts, Long Distance Fleet Regional Advisory Council (LDRAC), and Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO/COMHAFAT) all of whom made presentations on regional and international efforts to eradicate illegal fishing.

FAO provided updates on their work on the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels and demonstrated the prototype system for Phase 1, which incorporates Unique Vessel Identifier (UVI) numbers and other vessel-related information.  The presentation by Pew focused in part on the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), which has been ratified by ten States but is required to be ratified by twenty-five in order to enter in force. Update August 19, 2014: Mozambique became the eleventh State to ratify the PSMA.

In attendance at the event were International MCS Network Executive Committee member Ida Kusuma Wardhaningsih and Stop IUU Fishing Award winners Pedro Rodrigues from Timor-Leste and Victor Kargbo of Sierra Leone’s Joint Maritime Commission, who provided information on the regional programs they manage and their past and prospective collaborations Network.

The flyer for the COFI 31 event is available here.


Contest Logo

2nd Stop IUU Fishing Awards

At the combating IUU side event at COFI, IMCS Network Chair Cephas Ralph also launched the 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest. This contest is one way that the International MCS Network is helping to fight against illegal fishing by recognizing solutions used in both small and large-scale fisheries to deter IUU fishing.

The competition will open on December 1, 2014 and close August 31, 2015. Further information and flyer available here.

The flyer also describes the session dedicated to the results of the first contest at the 4th GFETW in San José, Costa Rica in February 2014. Additional information on the outcome of the first Stop IUU Fishing Award contest, is available here.


The 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is supported by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and the International MCS Network.