Professor Hennie Van As attended the 6th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Conference (GFETW), organised by the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 18 – 22 February 2019. The title of the conference was: “Closing the net through global cooperation between flag, coastal, port and market states for effective enforcement of international and domestic law.” The GFETW is a biennial conference organized by the International MCS Network to improve and enhance capacity to enforce fisheries legislation and exchange of information and experience between MCS practitioners around the world. Sustainable fisheries can only be achieved when fishing is pursued in compliance with the applicable rules and, therefore, all fishing activities in the world’s oceans and seas should be subject to adequate levels of monitoring, surveillance, inspection and enforcement and that capacity building is central to achieving these objectives. The 6th GFETW addressed initiatives that foster international cooperation between flag, coastal, port and market States for effective enforcement of fisheries legislation, covering both consolidated activities that are proven to show best practice in combatting IUU fishing as well as new MCS tools and technologies that can respond to some of the main outstanding challenges.

Prof Van As read a paper entitled “From capacity building to professionalisation: The FishFORCE experience”.  It was part of session 7 that dealt with “Capacity building for better enforcement action” and the paper was received well.

The Canadian Fisheries Department in Ottawa extended an invitation to Prof Van As to do a presentation to them on organized crime in the fisheries environment and the FishFORCE model. A similar invitation was received from the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan requesting Prof Van As to do a presentation and a lecture. Discussions we also held with the Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere at the University of Tasmania. Their focus is on developing new analytical tools and low cost technologies to improve fisheries surveillance at low cost.

On 26 February Professor Van As met with three academics from the Singapore National University and discussed the methods and technologies they employ with regard to e-learning. The discussion focused on the articulation of learning content, the organization of webinars, gamification and animation.