GIS - 30 October, 2015: Some 166 Fisheries Protection Officers from the Fisheries Protection Service (FPS) were awarded yesterday their certificates after having followed a course in capacity building at the University of Technology, Mauritius in Pointe aux Sables.
This tailor-made course, spread over 90 hours, was held from November last year to May this year. It was devised so as to empower Fisheries Protection Officers in better understanding their duties and responsibilities. Several themes were discussed during the training programme namely Port State Control, boarding a ship, international law of the sea, good governance, information technology, enforcement and prosecution. Trainers were from the judiciary, the Police, and the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, amongst others.
Present at the ceremony, the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo congratulated the officers of the Fisheries Protection Service while adding that the course will better equip them to upgrade their skills and enable them to deal with emerging challenges in an effective and efficient manner.
He recalled that the course is in line with recommendations of the Pay Research Bureau to provide officers of the Civil Service at least 60 hours training for their empowerment. Henceforth, he said, all officers of the Fisheries Protection Service will be called upon to follow this training course.
Minister Koonjoo further pointed out that all efforts will be geared towards empowering the officers of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands so that they are able to develop the Ocean Economy to its full capacity. All officers must be part of the development and should ensure the effective control and surveillance of our marine resources, he stated.
The Fishermen Protection Service
The FPS is a full-fledged enforcement arm of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands. It caters for the efficient control over fishing activities not only in lagoon and off lagoon but also in respect of regional fishing under bilateral conventions and regional cooperation with joint patrol under the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Programme in the Exclusive Economic Zone and over territorial waters of Mauritius.
Apart from the Head Office in Port Louis, officers of the FPS operate at four regional headquarters with a number of Fisheries Posts under each regional headquarter and its Flying Squads. The services provided include: overall control on all fishing activities around the island; enforcement of the provisions of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act with a view to combatting illegal fishing; responding to calls from the public on alleged malpractices in the fishing sector; protection of controlled marine species; tracking defaulters in the fishing sector throughout the lagoon; and entertaining applications for registration of fishermen, use of fishing nets and other related services.
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