15 May 2015

AFMA’s compliance policy, program and risk based methodologies are being used as examples of ‘world’s best practice’ for fisheries management by Michigan State University Doctoral student, and author of the Breaching The Blue blog, Mr Mark Gibson.

Mark is currently researching conservation criminology at Michigan State University and, as described in a series of articles on his blog, he has focused fisheries.

As a result, Mark has realised that indeed, in one ‘down under’ corner of the world, a risk based compliance approach is the norm.

“Both and Australia and New Zealand have adopted risk-based approaches to reduce non-compliance with fisheries management rules. AFMA continues to provide examples of best practice management, both in its treatment of compliance risks and management of enforcement data”. Comprehensive assessment of Fishery Compliance Risks (RBC part III) – February 9, 2015.

Mark has published a series of articles focusing on various aspects of the principles of risk based compliance, including prioritising compliance over enforcement, assessments of fishery compliance risks, problem oriented policing (in fisheries) and intelligence led policing (in fisheries).

“Take a look at AFMA’s approach to risk treatments, however, and you’ll see a great example of Problem Orientated Policing”. Problem Oriented Policing in Fisheries (RBC part IV) – March 16, 2015).

Using the suite of AFMA’s published compliance program documents, Mark has been undertaking a critical review of risk based methodologies, using AFMA’s programs as both a test case and an example of best practice.

“Ultimately, if these (AFMA’s) tools were to spread to other countries, I think you would see a very positive impact on compliance rates”. Intelligence Led Policing in Fisheries (RBC part V) – March 23, 2015.

He and his university colleagues have also used some of AFMA’s principles and processes as an example in a public submission to the United States Presidential Task force on illegal, unreported and (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud with the Presidential Task force releasing its action Plan on 15 March 2015.

“Risk based compliance assessment is quickly emerging as a best-practice approach to the design of fisheries enforcement interventions. The Australian Fisheries Management Authority perhaps best demonstrates this approach”. Comments to the Presidential Task force on IUU fishing and Seafood Fraud – January 26, 2015.

AFMA’s General Manager, Fisheries Operations Branch, Peter Venslovas welcomed the recognition.

“Since the implementation of a centralised compliance program back in 2009, AFMA has been working hard at developing and implementing best practice methodologies, “ said Peter.

“It’s great to see this hard work and initiative being recognised by the world’s fishing and academic communities.”