course participants

Australia – Thailand workshop strengthens fisheries partnership

Representatives from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) recently delivered a workshop on innovations in fisheries monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) technology in partnership with the Thailand Department of Fisheries (DoF).

Held in Samut Prakan, Thailand from 19 – 23 February 2024, the workshop continues a long-standing partnership and is the second technical capacity building workshop delivered under the 'Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries in Southeast Asia' program. 

The program brings together MCS specialists from around the world to enhance MCS capacity in Southeast Asia by sharing knowledge and experiences and promoting gender inclusivity and regional cooperation.

Key to the success of the program is the opportunity to build strong partnerships that will facilitate information sharing, enabling the implementation of strong MCS measures in the region.

During the workshop, DoF Fisheries Officers shared their successes and challenges in implementing MCS measures to combat IUU fishing operations. DoF fisheries officers and staff learned about Australian MCS tools and emerging technology to combat IUU fishing, including:

  • AFMA’s observer program.
  • Electronic monitoring and fisheries surveillance technology used by AFMA, including vessel monitoring systems and automated identification systems.
  • Emerging hydrophone technologies and DNA sampling being developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
  • A pilot program for unmanned surveillance vessels developed by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Mr Wez Norris, CEO of AFMA, reiterated the importance of the building partnerships to combat illegal fishing.

“Thailand’s strong reforms in the fisheries sector over the last eight years are commendable, and we want to work together to continue to strengthen countering IUU fishing in the region.”

“AFMA is proud to be a part of the SEA IUU Fishing program and we look forward to continuing to build our MCS cooperation with Thailand, and more broadly in Southeast Asia, to combat IUU fishing and protect the interests of people who rely on the fishing industry for their livelihoods.”

“Sharing experiences and knowledge between our fisheries officers will build an understanding of MCS issues facing the industry on a global scale. There is a great opportunity for this knowledge to be shared between colleagues to further enhance MCS capacity.”

“I look forward to future MCS collaboration between Australia and Thailand,” said Mr Norris.

Australia has a long history of working with our 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:

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