Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
April 01, 2013
Training on the Operation and Management of the Philippine Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Marine Fisheries Development Center (NMFDC), and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) organized a 10-day training, held last March 18 to 27, 2013, for the Operation and Management of the Philippine Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) in the Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC), BFAR MCS Station and Fishing Technology Laboratory, PFDA Fishport Complex, Navotas City.
The training was attended by participants from BFAR Central Office; BFAR-Regional Fisheries Offices (RFOs), specifically their information technologists and a technical employees who will be in charge of their respective Regional Monitoring Centers; and commercial fisheries sector. Experts from WCPFC, University of Wollongong, Australia, Fisheries Forum Agency, National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea and CLS were invited as resource speakers to give relevant information on VMS operations. The current VMS administrator and operators were also in attendance to share their knowledge and insights.
The training, which was held in FMC wherein the VMS is housed, aimed to develop competent manpower complement for the operation of the Vessel Monitoring System for the Philippines and for the proper implementation of fisheries conservation and management measures of various Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. After the training, the participants are expected to be equipped with the necessary skills on the implementation and operation of the VMS as fisheries management tool which will be beneficial in the strengthening of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Program of the country.
The implementation of VMS is in consonance with the implementation of the RA 8850 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 under Section 14 titled Monitoring Control and Surveillance of the Philippine Waters and WCPFC-CMM 2011-02. According to NMFDC Chief Alma Dickson, the project is an essential management tool to monitor and track fishing vessels operating both on the high seas and national waters . VMS is a fisheries management tool to comply with the various conservation and management measures of various RFMOs such as WCPFC, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for sustainable management of fishery resources.
Training methodologies included lectures, discussion, and actual demonstration on the operation of the VMS, which covered administrator and operators training .The capabilities of the BFAR VMS includes vessels tracking, ocean and weather data, satellite imagery and stock assessment.