The Outcome Document of the 2nd meeting of INTERPOL’s Fisheries Crime Working Group’s sub project on Capacity Building and Awareness Raising (FCWG CAPproject) required the formation of a focus group, provisionally named the “the Academy group”, to provide the to be formed Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy with strategic and technical assistance and support. The aim of the Academy Group is to ensure that the Academy receives strategic and technical support from the FCWG and that synergies are developed between the Academy and FCWG member countries.
On 20 and 21 April 2016 the Academy Group convened its first working meeting at the premises of the Law in Action Institute, NMMU in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The first step for the establishment of the academy is for the NMMU to develop an inception report and work-plan. NMMU anticipates that this work will commence in June/July. NMMU received notification that the project proposal was approved, subject to an agreement being concluded between the NMMU and the Norwegian Embassy in South Africa. The inception report will be commenced with as soon as the first draft of the proposed agreement has been studied.
To facilitate the drafting of the inception report and the interim support of the Academy, NMMU proposed that the Academy Group forms an Interim Steering Committee of the Academy.
The first Chapter of the academy will be South Africa. DANA explained that the South Africa pilot is integral to Operation Phakisa, which is a multiagency policy to enhance the Blue Economy in South Africa. As such, the critical first step of ensuring multiagency commitment is in place in South Africa, and the Chapter can move on to step B ‘needs assessment and review’.
The proposed next Chapter is the Indian Ocean countries of Kenya, Seychelles, Mauritius and Tanzania. It was agreed that WAMBUA makes initial inquiries to scope the possibility to host a multiagency meeting in Kenya in early August (step A), with possible expansion to Seychelles, Mauritius and Tanzania in the near future.
The following decisions were taken:
Decision 1: The participants of the Academy Group decided to form an Interim Steering Committee (ISC) of the NMMU Fisheries Law Enforcement Academy.
Decision 2: The ISC will in the future form the basis for the Reference Group, but additional expertise may be co-opted on a when-needed basis.