The IOTC Secretariat is involved in various capacity building activities in the region, through support to the government institutions in each country that are responsible for fisheries data collection, processing and reporting. The main objective of these activities is to strengthen the fisheries statistical systems and build the necessary capacity of local institutions and improve the quality and timeliness of data collection, processing, and reporting in each country; and facilitate compliance with IOTC Data Requirements, in particular:
Funds for capacity building activities come from the Commission or other institutions with which the IOTC Secretariat has established cooperative arrangements. At present, the following activities are carried out:
IOTC-OFCF Project: Since April 2002, the IOTC Secretariat and the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan, through the IOTC-OFCF Project, have been assisting developing coastal states in the IOTC Area of Competence with their statistical data collection, processing, and reporting systems, with a view to enhancing the capacity of institutions in those countries and improve their compliance with IOTC requirements for statistics and other scientific data used on the assessments of IOTC species.
COI-SmartFish Project: In 2013, the IOTC-Secretariat and the Comision de l’ocean indien-SmartFish EU funded Project agreed to provide assistance to several developping coastal states in the Western Indian Ocean Region, in the areas of fisheries statistics and compliance. At present, the Project has implemented activities in Madagascar and Comoros.
BOBLME Project: In 2013, the IOTC-Secretariat and the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystems Project, funded by several institutions and executed by the FAO, agreed to assit the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Sri Lanka to strengthen its statistical systems for tuna fisheries, in particular for IOTC and main shark species, with activities currently ongoing.
Other activities: In addition to the above, the IOTC Secretariat has implemented other activities using funds from the Commission. These included reviews of the statistical systems for artisanal fisheries of several coastal countries in the IOTC Area (please contact the Secretariat if you want a copy of these reports), historical reviews of the catches of India, Indonesia, and Sri lanka (see document on the Pilot project to improve data collection for tuna, sharks and billfish from artisanal fisheries in the Indian Ocean), a review of the scientific estimates of catches of Albacore by the fisheries in Indonesia (see the 2013 Albacore Catch Estimation Workshop Report), and reviews to the numbers of vessels fishing for IOTC species in the IOTC Area (see the 2013 Fishing Capacity Report). All of these activities were implemented in response to recommendations from the Commission.
Completed capacity building workshop activities include the following (please contact the Secretariat for further information –firstname.lastname@example.org):