THE PORT OF VIGO HOSTS THE 3RD FISHING INSPECTOR TRAINING COURSE LED BY FAO

Sep 11, 2023, 12:00:00 PM

THE PORT OF VIGO HOSTS THE 3RD FISHING INSPECTOR TRAINING COURSE LED BY FAO

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing poses the primary threat to ocean biodiversity. This activity encompasses a wide range of fishing practices, both in international waters and national territories, affecting all stages of the fishing value chain, from catch to consumer, according to the FAO.

The AMERP is the first binding agreement specifically focused on IUU fishing, aimed at preventing vessels engaged in this activity from landing in fishing ports.

In order to strengthen the capabilities of fisheries inspection bodies to enforce this agreement, the FAO has established two global training centers, one in the Port of Busan, South Korea, and the other in the Port of Vigo, Spain.

In this context, over the course of three weeks, the Port of Vigo will host a total of 16 inspectors from Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, Mexico, Uruguay, and Panama. They will learn from international experts as well as teams from the Xunta de Galicia and the General Secretariat of Fisheries about tools and practices that they can apply in their respective countries in this endeavor.

This course marks the third activity of this training center, which has seen the participation of 48 fisheries inspectors from African and Latin American countries since 2019. It is expected that the training center located in the Sessions Building of the Port of Vigo will continue to work actively in the coming years with the FAO, resuming the activities that were slowed down due to the previous pandemic situation.

The course was inaugurated this morning by the President of the Port Authority of Vigo, Carlos Botana, the Regional Minister of the Sea, Alfonso Villares, the FAO Fisheries Officer responsible for training, Alicia Mosteiro, and the Head of Inspection at the General Secretariat of Fisheries, David Poderoso.

During his speech, Carlos Botana, the head of the port authority, emphasized the importance of the Fishing Port of Vigo as a global reference. He expressed gratitude to the FAO and their willingness "to share all our experience and learn from theirs," as "we believe in cooperation, and that it should be at a global and permanent level." "Only by working together at all levels of control and inspection, from the origin to the destination of products, will we be able to contribute to a sustainable ocean and, therefore, a viable fishing activity that provides a livelihood for those of us who live in coastal-marine areas."

On the other hand, the Minister of the Sea, Alfonso Villares, praised the exemplary work done by sea professionals and Galician ports and considered it completely unfair to arbitrarily question the good reputation they have earned after decades of hard work. As he highlighted, the Galician fleet is aware that illegal actions endanger the future of this activity, so it always operates sustainably, responsibly, and respectfully towards marine resources.

The Port of Vigo: a reference in FAO initiatives for port and fisheries sustainability

The positive results of the implementation of the Blue Growth plan of the Port of Vigo as a tool for sustainable development in activities have become an international benchmark for FAO and other international entities.

Thus, the Blue Ports Initiative promoted by FAO with the aim of strengthening the role of fishing ports in the social, economic, and environmental development of their direct surroundings takes the projects and actions developed by the Port of Vigo as a best practice.

In this regard, with the support of Puertos del Estado, the Xunta de Galicia, and the General Secretariat of Fisheries, the Port of Vigo has contributed financially and has actively participated in various training and tool development activities. It has been able to share its vision and experience with port and fisheries authorities from more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

This active participation is a manifestation of the commitment of the institution presided over by Carlos Botana to the sustainable development of coastal-marine territories and, specifically, to the importance of cooperating with other global ports and fisheries sectors to implement best practices in traceability, innovation, professionalism, just transition, and preservation and restoration of biodiversity.

Aware of the significance of this initiative, active efforts are being made to promote the creation of a specific office for coordinating this initiative in Vigo

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