A training and awareness workshop on FIA Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) scheme National Fisheries Authority (NFA) observers and PNG Fishing Industry Association (FIA) coordinators was undertaken in Lae in the week of 20th to 24th July 2020.
The awareness/training workshop was aimed at updating PNG NFA observers on the MSC standards and requirements of the PNG FIA MSC scheme.
In May 2020, PNG FIA purse seine skipjack and yellowfin fishery was awarded certification by MSC. This means that purse seine fishing vessels participating under the PNG FIA MSC scheme can fish and export MSC eligible skipjack and yellowfin tuna to markets overseas.
According to PNGFIA Executive Officer Jonathan Manieva, the workshop enabled NFA Observers and FIA to developed and align their respective standard operating procedures (SOP) in regards to traceability requirements of the MSC standard. The SOPs developed will enable awareness and capacity for observers, vessels operation managers and FIA secretariat to effectively monitor and administer the traceability processes and procedures in accordance to requirements of MSC standards.
Other areas of importance in regards to data and information on cetacean and shark finning was highlighted. Discussion for improving the data capture and more clarification on logsheet in these areas during observer duties on board were highlighted.
The week-long training involved NFA Observer Trainers and NFA Port Coordinators from Wewak, Madang, Lae and Rabaul.
“Observers presence on board is a critical component in protecting the integrity of msc standards on traceability. There is no other systems in place currently on board a fishing vessel that reassures the verifiability on the qualification of eligible catch and segregation but only through observer monitoring and control, “Manieva said.
In line with the process of supplying MSC certified tuna, NFA observers must adhere to MSC requirements from the moment catches are made to the storage level.
Adrian Nanguromo, NFA Observer Manager said, “Observers are the eyes and ears of NFA on board tuna fishing vessels and hence have an important role to play in monitoring and verifying requirements of this emerging domestic purse seine MSC fishery.”
He also said the training of port observer coordinators and Observer trainers will help train the wider national observers to document the MSC chain of custody and traceability process which supports PNG’s aim for the domestic tuna industry business growth.
The FIA secretariat acknowledges the funding support of FFA/PEUMP for the cost of airfare travel and involvement of its personnel at this important awareness and training workshop.