Caribbean collaboration: ANCORS hosts Caribbean fisheries officials
Fifteen senior government officers from 10 Caribbean countries are sure to enjoy the Illawarra coastline after arriving today for a five-week course at UOW’s Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS).
The Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop (Caribbean) is funded by AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF) program and has been coordinated by UOW’s Professor Warwick Gullett.
Professor Gullett said the tailor-made program is designed to provide ALAF Fellows with the capacity to develop and implement sustainable fisheries practices.
“The goal of the course is to improve fisheries conservation, food security and economic stability in the Caribbean,” he said.
“ANCORS has for many years delivered courses for officials in our Asia-Pacific area but this is our first for the Caribbean area so we are very excited,” he said.
“The course focuses on key fisheries management challenges in the region, including illegal fishing, and how they can be addressed through developments in the international law of the sea as well as international trade law.”
Course presenters include ANCORS academic staff and Fellows as well as contributors from the Marine Stewardship Council, private practitioners and Australian Government officials.
Professor Gullett said a highlight of the course will be a field trip to Jervis Bay Marine Park and a visit to UOW’s Shoalhaven Marine and Freshwater Centre. The Caribbean government officials will also interact with their counterparts in Australia when they go to Canberra for meetings at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and Border Protection Command.
The visiting ALAF Fellows are from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
Executive Director of the Belize-based Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism Secretariat Mr Milton Haughton said he was delighted to be attending the workshop.
“The knowledge acquired during these five weeks will assist us greatly because we are currently in the process of reviewing and transforming our regional and national policy and legal frameworks and regulations to ensure that the fisheries sector is able to make enhanced long-term sustainable contributions to our economic and social development,” he said.
ANCORS is Australia’s only multidisciplinary university-based centre dedicated to research and education on ocean law, maritime security and natural marine resource management. ANCORS has 17 academic staff and 29 PhD students.
The Caribbean course is one of a series of ANCORS training programs funded by AusAID. A course was run in 2011 for officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and two maritime security courses for officials from a number of African nations will run later in 2012.