MCS course participants

Empowering Fisheries Compliance Officers in Southeast Asia: Second cohort commence comprehensive training in Nha Trang

The second year of a comprehensive fisheries monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) training course in Southeast Asia has commenced at Nha Trang University in Vietnam to build MCS capacity to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region.

Co-designed and co-delivered by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Nha Trang University, the intensive training course will provide Southeast Asian fisheries compliance officers with a comprehensive and holistic understanding of MCS.

This training is delivered in two three-week in-person blocks with the support of MCS specialists from the International MCS Network, Southeast Asian Regional Plan of Action including Combating IUU Fishing, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, Fisheries Oceans Canada, Starboard Maritime Intelligence, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC). The curriculum covers theoretical and practical elements of fisheries MCS, including:

  • The importance of sustainably managed fisheries in Southeast Asia
  • MCS legal and regulatory frameworks 
  • Social inclusion and gender diversity in fisheries MCS
  • Compliance theory and behaviours
  • Vessel monitoring and surveillance tools
  • MCS data analysis
  • Powers, roles and functions of fisheries officers 
  • Workplace Occupational Health and Safety
  • The importance of regional cooperation to address IUU fishing
  • MCS operational activities, and
  • Community engagement in MCS

Participants will return to Nha Trang for the second part of the training course in October 2024.


A significant benefit of the training course is the opportunity for participants to network and build strong partnerships that will facilitate information sharing, enabling the implementation of strong MCS measures in the region.

Australia has a long history of working with our Southeast Asian partners to combat regional IUU fishing. Regional cooperation is essential for addressing IUU fishing challenges and ensuring fish stocks are managed sustainably to support the livelihoods of people in the region.

The training course will be delivered to a total of 120 participants over the life of the program, comprised of three cohorts of 40 participants from countries across Southeast Asia, plus Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. The 2024 participants are the second cohort to commence training.

The training course is delivered to Regional Plan of Action IUU participating countries and is a part of Australia’s ‘Combating IUU Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries in Southeast Asia’ program managed by Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, said Australia is in the third year of delivering its Combating IUU Fishing capacity building program to Southeast Asia.

“By the end of 2024, Australia will have delivered a comprehensive training course to 80 fisheries compliance officers to support our regional partners in taking even stronger action against IUU fishing,” Minister Watt said.

“Australia will continue working closely with Southeast Asia to strengthen MCS capacity and collective efforts to combat IUU fishing across our region.”

For more information about the Combating IUU Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries in Southeast Asia program, visit

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