This menu organises news, documents, projects, profiles and links into key topics, and the menu along the top divides the contents of the site by type.
Bycatch / discards
Chain of custody / Supply chain management
Corruption / mismanagement
Flag state issues
Governance / management
International trade / WTO
Monitoring, control and surveillance
Port state issues
Retail / consumers
18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
FOA helps combat illegal activities in line with its mandate
The Fisheries Observer Agency (FOA) has contributed tremendously to the elimination of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) activities, chief executive officer, Hafeni Mungungu has said. The agency compliments the monitoring, control and surveillance programme of the ministry of fisheries and marine resources to ensure sustainable usage of marine resources.
This is done by placing fisheries observers on board fishing vessels in Namibian waters and high seas to observe, record and report such harvesting activities of the vessels. The placement of fisheries observers ensures that no illegal fishing activities take place and such vessels comply with the marine legislation.
“The FOA managed to detect vessels that were secretly dumping a lot of fish in the sea.
Those vessels were apprehended by the Ministry of Fisheries and impounded until they paid a very heavy fine. The FOA has also tremendously contributed to the sustainable use of our fish by collecting reliable scientific information that is crucial in the decision of total allowable catches of different species,” said Mungungu. FOA has an excellent relationship with the fishing industry, despite its role as a regulator. “The fishing industry is the main source of the FOA income through observer levies and service rendered to the industry. As such, the FOA places the industry in high esteem as one of the most vital stakeholders.
“Therefore there is an excellent relationship with the fishing industry as they understand our role. There is also a continuous need for communication between the stakeholders in order to understand each other’s roles. We are in constant contact with the industry ironing out differences and disagreements as and when they occur,” said Mungungu.
The FOA has grown from just an observer body to being an important role player in the collection of scientific data crucial for the assessment of fish stocks.
The FOA has a staff compliment of 220 people with the majority being seagoing personnel.
However, the most significant challenge the agency is faced with at the moment is to ensure that all its personnel receive adequate training which is in line with international standards especially when it comes to the collection of scientific data.
“When we started most observers did not have proper qualifications. They were taken in as special inspectors by the Ministry of Fisheries specifically to monitor and report illegal activities by the fishing vessels. When the agency became operational in 2002, it took over all the special inspectors and embarked on training programmes.
“We would like to see our staff trained up to a certain level with regard to data collection because now our people are only trained for the Namibian market. We want to create a core group of fisheries observers who will have the appropriate training to become scientific observers collecting scientific data,” Mungungu said.
The Fisheries Observer Agency does not only deploy observers on vessels fishing in the Namibian waters but observers are also provided on request to fishing vessels that fish in international waters and in areas governed by the Conventions such as the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
“This kind of collaboration provides Namibian observers with an opportunity to gain experience working in international waters governed by international conventions,” Mungungu said.
click to view source website
Issues/Bycatch / discards
Issues/Monitoring, control and surveillance