Change the world

Group photo

On 23 and 24 November 2016 a High Level Stakeholders seminar was conducted in Mombasa, Kenya. The aim was that the partnerships formed at the meeting will drive the FishFORCE project in each country (South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Indonesia) and to facilitate cross border training and post-training support co-operation.

The NMMU was represented by Prof Derrick Swartz, Prof Hennie van As and Megan Skei from the Centre for Law in Action as well as contracted staff, namely Emma Witbooi, JD Kotze and Adv Phil Snijman.

The Kenyan Minister for Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries, Mr Willy Bett and the Principal Secretary of the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy also attended.  Other attendees included senior representatives from Mozambique, Tanzania, Indonesia, Somalia and Mauritius.

The DVC: Academic of the University of Nairobi was also in attendance and an MOU will be concluded between the NMMU and the University of Nairobi.

At the conclusion of the seminar, a concept statement was issued.

Concept statement

Yesterday and today we have deliberated on the suitability of the FishFORCE model, consisting of training, post-training support and research and evaluation, as a model to address organised fisheries crime in the Indian Ocean Rim. The model is further based on a move away from ad hoc training to the offering of formal, university accredited training programmes that address the needs of its clients, namely all the role players in the criminal justice system. It is premised on the principle that knowledge and expertise should be shared and that, as far as possible, universities should collaborate with one another as well as with government agencies.

In South Africa the concept receives the support of Operation Phakisa and as such, the support of Government. In order to take the initiative forward interested partners resolve to:

  1. Establish country specific chapters (reference groups) which will, with assistance of the NMMU’s FishFORCE Academy develop curriculum and harness existing local expertise to ensure that the Academy is technically relevant in the particular partner country.

  2. Provide the name and contact particulars of a focal point with whom the FishFORCE Academy can liaise to drive the project.

  3. In the development of the curricula, liaise with the Core Reference Group to ensure that international expertise and research feed into the curriculum and to act as a quality assurance instrument.

  4. Assist the FishFORCE Project Management Team to facilitate a training needs assessment; assist with information gathering to conduct research and evaluation of fisheries law enforcement efforts.

  5. Endeavour to commit to the implementation of the FishFORCE Academy within their jurisdiction and to identify mid-level directors and experts of key agencies and institutions to serve on the country reference groups.

  6. Establish a regional body of training institutions to coordinate and support the delivery of training programmes developed to combat fisheries crime.