FAO support to combat illegal fishing | Sunday Observer

FAO support to combat illegal fishing

Fishing boats at Negombo, one of the busiest and oldest fishing harbours in Sri Lanka. PICTURE BY VIPULA AMERASINGHE
Fishing boats at Negombo, one of the busiest and oldest fishing harbours in Sri Lanka. PICTURE BY VIPULA AMERASINGHE

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted training for government officials on methods to combat illegal fishing as part of measures to improve capacity to tackle the organized criminal activity which had led to a European Union fishing ban that was lifted last year.

The FAO said the training of 24 officers of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.

The training of trainers workshop on the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) and inspection from January 30 to February 3, 2017 was under the FAO project ‘Capacity building to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. The workshop was on Port Inspection of Fishing Vessels under the Port State Measures Agreement, an FAO statement said.

The trainees followed the Port inspection of fishing vessels training course developed by the Asia Pacific Fisheries Commission, of which Sri Lanka is a Member. They were educated on perfecting the inspection forms, investigative interview methods, how to calculate fish quantities and also on the inspection of logbooks etc.

IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens the ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries, the FAO said. “It contributes to overfishing and the depletion of fish stocks, undermines sustainable fisheries management and distorts market competition, and results in missed public revenue.” 

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