PRESS RELEASE – The 26th Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Monitoring Control and Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG)

The 26th Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Monitoring Control and Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG) meeting convened last month to continue discussions on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing relating to the management of resources of common interest to the FFA members in this post Covid-19 environment. The Meeting was held virtually and face to face between 28-31 March 2023 with participants from all FFA member countries.

MCSWG26 Participants included FFA members representatives and observer representatives

Annually the Forum Fisheries Agency brings together member countries from the Pacific Island countries to discuss regional and national Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) strategies for preventing, detecting, and eliminating IUU fishing in the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) region. It supports Pacific Islands Leaders’ call for relevant regional and partner countries to continue efforts to strengthen and expand the effectiveness of monitoring, control, surveillance, and enforcement capabilities across the region. This year’s assembly is the first person-to-person working group meeting done during this post-COVID-19 period.

FSM/NORMA delegation: Mr. Justino Helgen, Senior Fisheries Compliance (front) Mr. Eliaser Edward, Debriefer Assessor (middle) Ms. Miorida Yeeting, Licensing Manager (back)

Priority areas discussed in the meeting included progress on the implementation and review of the regional MCS strategy, Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance strategy (RMCSS) was one of the critical matters considered at the 26th Annual Meeting of MCS practitioners recently. The strategy will inform the development of further guidance for regional MCS activities over the next five years.

Updates were also provided at the meeting on:

Key tools in the FFA Integrated MCS framework such as engagement with technology providers and consideration of an Emerging Technology Policy to guide the Secretariat and members engagement with providers.

Progress on electronic reporting and monitoring tools to address misreporting issues. Regional Port State Measures Framework, Electronic Monitoring and Reporting, Information Management Systems, Emerging Technologies, Transshipment, and WCPFC MCS priorities.

The 26MCSWG meeting outcomes and recommendations will be considered by the 126th Forum Fisheries Committee – the governing body of the FFA – when it meets in mid-May.