MRAG’s experience of the planning and review of monitoring, control and surveillance activities covers the gamut of all possible activities from the direct planning of patrol strategies or port inspections on a day to day basis through developing coordination and implementation strategies involving a number of different MCS means and measures through to the review of new regulations and the impact of regulations that have been put in place.
MRAG have been involved in the implementation and planning of fisheries patrols in various UK Overseas Territories for twenty years. The creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2010 resulted in a major shift in MCS activities from managing a series of active fisheries to predominantly a deterrent and detection role for IUU vessels. Patrol planning is coordinated with other required activities and personnel on a risk assessment basis and specific areas and seasons are targeted based on the results of the risk assessment. This active patrolling has resulted in a number of arrests of IUU vessels.
Considerable practical experience is available for the development and review of regional and national capacities and plans for MCS and implementation strategies. These include high level risk assessment, capacity and needs assessment, training, implementation and patrol planning for coordinated responses, i.e. between air, sea and land based units with other means such as VMS and radar. MRAG were also part of the consortium requested to investigate the feasibility of setting up Community Fisheries Control Agency (now European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) http://cfca.europa.eu/) to ensure a more effective use of European Union and national means of fisheries inspection and surveillance within a joint inspection structure and later in providing a review of the control capacity of each EU MS for the Agency.
MRAG have reviewed a number of IUU related regulations to determine their impacts. For example we hosted a workshop to assess the real world impact of the introduction of the Port State Measures Agreement to address the challenges posed by IUU fishing. This looked in particular at the requirements from port, coastal and fishing States with regards to practical implementation needs and the clarity and effectiveness of its provisions.