National interagency workshop on implementing IUU port state measures in Namibia

By Stop Illegal Fishing:15th Nov, 2022: Countries · FishFORCE · Port State Measures Agreement

Nelson Mandela University, through FishFORCE, hosted two workshops on port State measures from 30 October to 4 November in Walvis Bay, followed by a Senior management workshop from the 8 to 10 November 2022 in Windhoek. The workshop was offered in conjunction with Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), whose experts provided training on key elements of PSMA implementation. Topics included capacity building, interagency cooperation, risk assessment and inspection procedures.

The workshop was targeted at relevant national agencies that are involved in port operations and representatives from eight agencies including the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Nampol, Namibian Police, Namibian Police in Water Policing Department, Fisheries Observer Agency, University of Namibia, Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Safely and Security and Ministry of Works and Transport.

The training focused on coordinating the implementation of tools for port State measures, however, discussions on safety and labour were on the agenda. The reason for this is that the three treaties – the FAO, Agreement on Port State Measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (PSMA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Cape Town Agreement (CTA), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention No. 188 (C188) which have been developed as international instruments to utilise ports to block illegally caught fish from being landed; to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities; and to improve safety, working and living conditions in the fisheries sector. Thus, it is important that instead of concentrating on one, we look at all these agreements.

The training also included procedures for decision making for a vessel seeking port entry and use, and the practical interagency cooperation and information sharing processes and mechanisms that are required for effective port State measures.

Per Erik Bergh, SIF coordinator noted that ‘the workshop provided a good platform for engagement and discussion with the different agencies involved in port State measures and a chance to see different perspectives. The visit to the port of Walvis Bay gave an opportunity to discuss in detail the practical challenges of checking and inspecting vessels when often only limited information is available, for the officials from different agencies.

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