FSM NORMA| Oct. 27, 2017
FSM Surveillance & Fisheries Satellite Monitoring Training
On October 9, 2017, staff from the FSM Department of Justice (DOJ) Maritime Surveillance Wing and the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) gathered at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Annex Building for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) training. The week-long training, conducted by experts from the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, allowed FSM’s maritime enforcement officers and fisheries compliance staff to upgrade their skills on use of the Regional Satellite Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). The VMS is one of the key MCS tools utilized by FFA members to monitor fishing vessels in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
The training was officially opened by NORMA Executive Director, Mr. Eugene Pangelinan, who noted that continual upgrading of systems and skills are essential to an effective fisheries management regime. Mr. Pangelinan highlighted the significant work in fisheries management that has been accomplished over the past decade as a result of the VMS and encouraged participants to absorb as much knowledge as they could from the regional FFA experts as well as FSM’s own in-country experts, VMS Officers Mr. Justino Helgen from NORMA and Mr. Whylik Alfons from DOJ. The training was part of a series of MCS exercises that the FSM requested as part of its Country Service Agreement with FFA and an in-country roll-out of the recently upgraded VMS. Training participants expressed their appreciation for the timeliness and relevance of the training to the FSM, which would aid in carrying out daily MCS tasks, providing policy advice and planning maritime operational activities. The VMS training focused on teaching officers the functionality of various modules on the new VMS Trackwell System and how to operate it to combat, prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in FSM’s multi-million dollar generating EEZ.