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Australia-Cambodia partnership builds MCS capacity in Southeast Asia

In January, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) delivered a monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) capacity building workshop in Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia, under the Combating IUU Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries in Southeast Asia Program (SEA IUU Fishing program). 

Twenty fisheries officers and staff from the Cambodian Fisheries Administration (FiA) participated in the three-day workshop with AFMA fisheries officers, who shared MCS practical and operational knowledge about vessel monitoring systems (VMS). 

IUU fishing operations rely on a lack of MCS communication and coordination to avoid detection. Participants learnt techniques to help manage and implement VMS, an important component of MCS. VMS allows authorities to monitor vessel position, course and speed, ensuring fishing vessels are following rules and regulations for fishing in the region.

AFMA fisheries officers were also invited to visit Koh Kong Province to share information with FiA officers about our respective countries’ implementation of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) and to visit Cambodia’s largest coastal fishing port.

The PSMA came into force in 2016 and focuses on effective port State measures to disrupt illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

As a party to PSMA, Cambodia is bolstering laws and procedures for foreign fishing vessels seeking port entry to prevent vessels engaged in IUU fishing from accessing port facilities and landing their catch, which in turn prevents IUU fishing products from reaching national and international markets.

Australia has a long history of working with Southeast Asian partners to combat regional IUU fishing. Through regional cooperation, we can address IUU fishing challenges together, ensuring fish stocks are managed sustainably and maritime security is maintained to support the livelihoods of people in the region.

The SEA IUU Fishing program is managed by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade until 2026.

For more information about the SEA IUU Fishing program, visit the DAFF website

For more information:  
Media: or 0437 869 860 

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