Secure Fisheries’ Senior Program manager Robert Mazurek chaired the first two meetings in a series of eleven Caught Red-Handed (CRH) workshops last month at the Navy Headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka and the Coast Guard Training Center in Male, Maldives. Co-sponsored by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the workshops were attended by senior representatives of the Sri Lankan and Maldivian navies, coast guards, customs offices, prosecutor’s offices, and fishing ministries.
CRH aims to combat illegal fishing by integrating intrastate, interstate, and regional governance coalitions of key fisheries stakeholders. Key outcomes from the meetings included:
- Identified key agency stakeholders in the collection of illegal fishing vessel information and intelligence;
- Recommended the creation of both national and local level interagency taskforces dedicated to illegal fisheries information collection and sharing; and
- Identified key agency focal points for the collection of illegal fishing intelligence, how it is collected, how it is stored, how it is analyzed, and how it is communicated to others.
- Recommended the development of a national maritime intelligence bureau;
- Recommended the development of a joint interagency working group on illegal fishing;
- Identified the need for closer coordination with the regional maritime fusion centers; and
- Began work on the establishment of a joint operations center to fight illegal fishing;
- Began work on a system of information sharing with international stakeholders.