Published September 15, 2017
It is always great to host different law enforcement agencies across West Africa for trainings geared towards enhancing the criminal justice sector in Africa. One advantage is that we get to draw from the rich experiences and mechanisms used by other nations to fight crimes.
An Instructor leading participants in a very fruitful discussion
It was a great pleasure to host the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Fisheries Enforcement and Prosecution workshop. Stephanie led the team of instructors from NOAA and technical experts from the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guidance ( FCWC ) –West Africa Task Force – and the Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) group to deliver a week course on Fisheries Enforcement and Prosecution.
It is worth mentioning that the knowledge shared and ideas exchanged between the fisheries officers representing Ghana, Togo, Benin, Senegal, la Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria was immense. This was made evident during the two day practical exercise at the Tema Port where they learned the best practices involved in conducting inspections for fishing vessels, reefers and container vessel. They were exposed to the operations of electronic tracking systems and devices such as the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) used to control and monitor fishing activities at sea.
Participants at a briefing session at the Tema Harbor
The exercises were very intensive and interacting involving breakout sessions and group exercises on bridge familiarization and documentations, vessel landing / container inspections familiarization as well as a debriefing session. These consisted of cross referencing of information found on the bridge instruments / documents with the VMS or AIS data. At the end of the exercise participants gained the necessary skills and knowledge needed to successfully investigate potential fisheries violations at sea and at ports.
The RTC believes that participants will utilize the skills and knowledge received from this course to help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Stay tuned for more updates on our alumni network program.