Can Independent Monitoring help improve law enforcement of the fisheries sector?
Independent Monitoring of Fisheries and Governance (IM-FiLEG)
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the greatest threats to fisheries worldwide. While there are certainly difference between the fisheries and forestry sectors there are many commonalities when it comes to law enforcement and governance problems such as a lack of transparency, low investment in enforcement where it counts, imbalanced power relations between private and public sectors, out-of-date and impractical policies, absence of robust traceability mechanisms, and a lack of accountability within the senior echelons of government. A key gap in current initiatives is a process to fully understand the law enforcement and governance capacities of exporting countries. Independent monitoring can help address this problem by providing credible and detailed information on specific enforcement and governance problems.
REM, in formal collaboration with the Sri Lankan central and provincial Fisheries Ministries and local NGO Rainforest Rescue International (RRI), implemented an 18 months fisheries monitoring project through the DFID Civil Society Challenge Fund in Sri Lanka in 2012. This pilot project was designed to assess and develop the role of civil society. The project focused on tuna fisheries, and:
- Management - to improve consistency and coordination within selected areas of fisheries policy and law, including at the provincial level.
- IUU fishing in Sri Lankan waters - to help create a better monitor and report system on IUU fishing by foreign vessels in Sri Lankan Waters.
- IUU fishing outside Sri Lankan water - to better inform fishers of international obligations and support mechanisms of control.