Exciting Progress: Observer Training for the Capsen and Grand Bleu S.A. FIP
In July 2022, the Capsen and Grand Bleu Atlantic Ocean purse seine tuna fishery improvement project (FIP) organised a two-day training session for the Senegalese fishery observers employed to work on the FIP vessels. The training was designed to help the observers learn how to identify species accurately, reliably, and consistently, including endangered, threatened, or protected (ETP) species. Understanding the interaction and impact of the FIP vessels with non-target species is a specific action outlined in the FIP workplan and is critical for when the FIP applies to become certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The training was also used to educate about the importance of recording fish aggregation devices (FAD) data, including deployment and retrieval locations. In early 2022, the FIP purchased Samsung tablets, installed with a new recording template to improve the efficiency of catch data reporting. The training sessions were also used to teach the observers how to correctly use the new software to ensure that all crew understand the procedure before applying it to real-time fishing trips.
There were a total of 29 observers who attended the training sessions and they were joined by representatives from the Fisheries Surveillance Directorate (DPSP). The training was led by expert, Mr. Papa Kebe, who has conducted observer training sessions in other nations for different fisheries, including Ghana. The training began by outlining the importance of the observers as well as their specific role whilst working onboard the vessels. Following the introduction, the training continued to discuss the importance of effectively recording non-target species interactions, as well as the best practice bycatch handling techniques for those important ETP species. The best practice handling techniques were produced for fishers to ensure that the ETP species are released as quickly and as safely as possible to reduce the mortality rate of the species interactions. Knowledge of these best practices is also essential for the observers because they must record the fate (discarded or retained) and condition (dead or alive) of all non-target species that are caught, in accordance with the requirements of the MSC Fisheries Standard. The training emphasised the importance of complying with these requirements to ensure that the fishery would be able to apply for an MSC full-assessment within the next year.
A full report on the training can be downloaded here:
For more information on the FIP, please see the Fisheryprogress profile here: https://fisheryprogress.org/fip-profile/atlantic-ocean-tuna-purse-seine-capsen-sa