Twenty participants graduated from Regional Security System Fisheries Prosecution and Interdiction Course which was held in Barbados over the past three weeks. The programme was funded by the European Union and sought to heighten awareness and enhance the skills and competencies of the authorised officers who have border security responsibilities for enforcing laws under the Fisheries Act and regulations.
Speaking at the closing ceremony this morning at the HMBS Pelican Coast Guard base, Programme Manager Peter Murray delivered his assessment of the course. He said that 84 per cent of the participants felt the prospectus was realized. However, he is hoping that for the next stage of this training there is more ‘at sea’ activity and more participation of Fisheries Officers from other RSS member states.
He also disclosed that participants ranged from a mixture of the marine units of the members states defence and police forces. They were assessed by their ability to recall and utilize the information provided and their level of case preparation and prosecution skills by practising the various techniques in mock trials.
Deputy Executive Director of the RSS headquarters Graham Archer congratulated the participants saying their new skills will help to ensure higher convictions in the law court.
Archer added, “It is not only for you to take this information and use it for yourself but to spread it among your colleagues when you return because our efforts would be in vain if we don’t end the whole thing off with a successful prosecution. ”
Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM Luis Maia said that his organization would continue to work closely with the RSS. “The willingness to work together can achieve what in a globalized world no nation no matter its size can do. Regional integration and collective security mechanisms are imperative and RSS is a bright example of this. We can see that RSS is on the right track to building a mechanism for sustainable security by leveraging the strengths of members states to work together to develop the capacity in a multidimensional approach that emphasizes greater cooperation and partnership.”