Strengthening Kiribati’s frontline against illegal fishing

Kiribati fisheries have made significant progress in safeguarding its tuna resources from illegal activities with a recent training of 26 Monitoring Control Surveillance (MCS) practitioners.

From 4 – 8 June, officials from the Kiribati Police Maritime Unit (PMU) and the Ministry of Fisheries Marine Resources Development (MFMRD) gathered in Tarawa for an intensive Boarding & Inspection Training.

This program is crucial in developing their skills and knowledge to conduct effective fishing vessel compliance inspections to detect Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities.

The training was organized by the FFA Secretariat in partnership with the Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries, the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI), and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA).

It came in response to a request from Kiribati for in-country capacity building for boarding officers, aiming to bolster the nation’s ability to manage its fisheries resources sustainably.

“Enhancing safe and effective port and at-sea inspection capacity remains a fundamental component of Kiribati’s fight against IUU fishing, fisheries management and ensuring the sustainable flow of economic development,” said Kiribati Director Oceanic Fisheries, Kaon Tiamere at the opening of the training.

FFA Surveillance Operations Officer Yohni Fepuleai also expressed gratitude for the collaborative effort from the Government of Kiribati and its partners.

He highlighted that the Boarding & Inspection course is designed as a skills-based training program. It builds on the effective use of Integrated MCS Tools to perform vessel risk assessments and implement boarding inspections of fishing vessels both in port and at sea.

This course reinforces key priority areas for compliance checks of reporting requirements from licensed fishing vessels operating in the region.

Key items covered in the training included vessel inspections procedures and best practices to support fisheries management objectives. Other areas of the training broadly covered the evolving legal instruments, national fisheries conditions on conservation management measures, associated components of the MCS tools, health and safety, IUU risks and focus on catch reporting verification using log sheets analysis and electronic reporting. Participants will also engage in practical exercises in Tawara Port.

FFA acknowledges the Kiribati Government, the FFA PROPER World Bank Project for the funding support and all our partners involved for a successful cooperative activity.

TARAWA, 14 June 2024

Media Contact:
Ernest Ta'asi
FFA Communications Officer
e: ernest.ta’[email protected]
About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)
FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management. Find out more here:

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