Second IUU Fishing CAPFISH Workshop Delivered by WMU

On-site speakers and participants.

From 15-18 February, the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted the second workshop on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing as part of the CAPFISH research project sponsored by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) of the Republic of Korea and delivered in cooperation with the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI). The workshop included a broad spectrum of presentations from high level IUU Fishing experts to tackle the complex and multi-faceted issue. This second workshop was delivered to professionals from 19 countries and was framed similarly to the first CAPFISH workshop that was delivered in October to WMU students from 19 countries. 

In opening remarks for the workshop, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU, said, “IUU fishing continues to remain one of the biggest ocean and maritime challenges of our time and is a scourge from which the world needs to rid itself. It is not just an environmental problem but also has serious human and national security implications.” She noted the complexity of the IUU fishing problem, from the devastating effects on fishers and fishing communities to the social challenges that IUU fishing creates - including poverty and food insecurity, a rise in crimes such as piracy and armed robbery at sea, drug, arms and human trafficking, and forced labour and poor working conditions. 

Mr. Hyuntae Kim, Director-General of MOF, addressed the participants, saying “IUU fishing destroys marine ecosystems and, therefore, must be dealt with through global cooperation.” He highlighted the importance of the workshop in providing the opportunity for cooperation and communication among developing nations, international organizations, and experts from around the world to combat IUU fishing. 

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Jongdeog Kim, President of KMI, noted the far-reaching economic, social and environmental consequences of IUU fishing. He expressed his hope that the workshops and related educational materials, such as the report from Workshop 1, will contribute to developing a pool of future global maritime and fisheries talent and be effectively used to develop capacity in developing countries to combat IUU fishing. 

A range of high-level speakers joined the workshop virtually as well as in person, providing a unique opportunity for transformative education to help solve the problem of IUU fishing. The workshop was the second in a series that will disseminate the expertise of United Nations specialized agencies and experts, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition to the UN Agencies, speakers included representatives from the Argentinian Coast Guard, Spain’s Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, University of British Columbia, University of Sierra Leone, St. Andrews University, University of Vigo, the Korea Maritime Institute, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Korea Fisheries Monitoring Center, Global Fishing Watch, TMT, and independent experts from Canada, Iceland, Jamaica and New Zealand. Participants learned about how IUU fishing creates social, environmental and economic problems in the Caribbean, the South Atlantic, West Africa and the South Pacific. Regional collaboration was a major theme as it is crucial, particularly for developing countries, to pool resources and information to fight IUU fishing. 

The combined perspectives are all key to building the knowledge of the participants, that included professionals from Belize, Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Maldives, Mexico, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia and Vietnam.

As a trans-disciplinary initiative, CAPFISH integrates science, economics, maritime policy and ocean governance, law and regulation, maritime technology and operation, safety at sea, societal factors, human rights, and compliance monitoring and enforcement. CAPFISH aligns SDG-17 (Partnerships for the Goals) with SDG 4 (Quality Education) to address the problem that IUU fishing presents for achieving SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). 

To access the report from CAPFISH Workshop 1, click here. 

To access the programme from Workshop 2, click here.

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