Role of the Monitoring Control and Surveillance Division
The role of the MCS Division is to support the successful implementation of the agreed fisheries management policies, plans and strategies by ensuring compliance towards fishing conditions, management measures and fisheries legislations, both domestic and international through effective flag state, coastal state and port state controls. The key responsibility of the division is to deter, prevent and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. This is achieved through activities such as surveillance (Aerial and Maritime), port inspections, satellite monitoring, certification of catch certificated and trade documents to ensure the implementation of regional trade measures against IUU fishing.
Functions of the MCS Division
Key functions of the MCS Division are as follows:
Controlling of access in commercial fisheries, through licenses, permits and authorizations
Constant monitoring of fishing activities of vessels registered under the Seychelles Flag
Implementation of IUU Trade Related Measures
Implementation of IUU Port State Measures
Data Analysis and Risk Assessment
Support the development of fisheries management plans and measures and policy
Exchange of Information and intelligence with key national, regional and international partners
MCS Education and Awareness.
The Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) Division is comprised of two sections, being the Monitoring and Control Section and the Enforcement Section.
The Monitoring and Control Section consists of the Monitoring Unit, where the Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) is hosted and the Fisheries Control Unit.
The Monitoring Unit ensures the compliance of all fishing vessel’s reporting requirements, monitoring of catch, effort and other fisheries activities using satellite technology such as Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), Electronics Reporting System (ERS), with plans to implement other technologies such as Electronics Monitoring System (EMS) and to increase monitoring capacity by adopting other technologies such as Automatic Identification System and Satellite Imagery. The unit is also responsible for the validation of Catch Certificates as required by market states, Trade Documents (statistical documents) as required by various regional fisheries management organizations such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
The Fisheries Control Unit is responsible for the processing and issuing of fishing licenses, and sea cucumber processors permits controlling access to managed and regulated fisheries and fisheries related activities. Main fishing licenses issued are:
Industrial Tuna Fishing Licenses
Semi Industrial Fishing License
Artisanal Fishing Licenses
Sea Cucumber Fishing
All licenses and permits issued must satisfy a set of predetermined conditions before the applicants are allowed to enter any fishery, with such conditions varying for each fishery.
The work of the Monitoring Unit is supported by a team of monitoring technician that ensures the deployment, maintenance and repairs of VMS units and any other technical matters related to MCS.
The Enforcement Section carries out all inspectorate duties with regards to port state inspection, land inspection, sea and air surveillance duties pertaining to national and regional requirements. Their key activities include:
Aerial and Maritime Surveillance
Most of the activities undertaken by the MCS division is guided by minimum guidelines of regional fisheries management organizations such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the South Western Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) and the South Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA). The MCS is also directly responsible for the implementation of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (FAO Port State Measures Agreement), the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA IUU), and supports the implementation of other international fisheries related instruments such as the the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UN Fish Stocks Agreement), the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (The FAO Compliance Agreement) and the Non-Binding FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO CCRF).
The MCS division also participate in other regional MCS related initiatives such as the Indian Ocean Commissions Plan Regionale de Surveillance de Pêche (PRSP) and the numerous Southern African Development Communities (SADC) sub-bodies that deals with matters related to MCS and IUU fishing.