In the framework of the EU funded PESCAO Project, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) has organised, in cooperation with the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) and the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC), a “train the trainers” session on fisheries control and inspection in Vigo (Spain) from 23 to 26 October 2018.
The PESCAO Project includes a component aiming to improve the fight against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities in Western Africa, contributing to sustainable fisheries management and the reduction of food insecurity in the region. This training activity comes under Result 2 of the project, focusing on strengthening the FCWC’s operational Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) capacities. The aim is to sustain them in the long term through regional trainings of trainers, with the objective of creating a pool (roster) of experienced and reliable trainers. By organising this event, EFCA gave the opportunity to inspectors from the FCWC and SRFC regions to come together to exchange experiences and then build on their various training skills.
This activity represents a start for the establishment of a pool of trainers for the FCWC region, and consequently, ad hoc discussions were initiated with inspectors from the SRFC region, creating an environment to develop collaboration and exchange of experience between the FCWC and the SRFC regions, with the support of EFCA.
Through live demonstrations, oral presentations and Q&A discussions, EFCA experts presented each step of the fisheries inspection methodology, from the preparation to the finalisation. A FAO representative was invited to give an overview on the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). The trainers also made a visit to the Ports of Vigo and A Pobra do Caramiñal for a hands-on component of the training programme.
“This first training of trainers organised by EFCA provides one of the best opportunities to build capacities and a first step towards the harmonization of inspection procedures in the FCWC region. While the countries are already collaborating and sharing information on a regular basis, strengthening operational capacities remains a challenge.
PESCAO is helping the countries to meet the goal of improving compliance in the fisheries sector,” said Ms Viviane Koutob, the project coordinator.
The countries representatives appreciated the event and expressed interest for such “train the trainers” approach, as an effective and sustainable tool to ensure the successful transfer of knowledge both at the regional and national levels.