On 26-27 August 2014, fisheries consultant Mike McCoy met with staff from the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) and the Huanan Fishery Cook Islands Company, a subsidiary of Luen Thai Fishing Venture (LTFV), to review the objectives, draft workshop presentation and training materials for a workshop on 28 August. The purpose of the workshop was to augment the capacity of Cook Islands government and longline fishing company staff to lead workshops for captains of longline vessels that fish in the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone.
On 28 August a two-hour workshop took place attended by MMR and fishing company staff, and by available longline captains. A second capacity-building workshop is planned in mid-2015. The intent is for MMR and fishing company staff to lead future workshops so that all longline captains of vessels authorized to fish in the Cook Islands waters attend at least one training workshop.
The aim of the workshops is to provide longline captains with an improved understanding of:
(i) Cook Islands rules for longline vessel operators
(ii) how to properly complete government logbook forms
(iii) how to use a guide to identify catch to the species level, to augment the rigor of logbook records
(iv) prescribed methods to handle and release sea turtles, sharks, rays, cetaceans and seabirds to maximize the probability of their survival after release, and
(v) LTFV Venture company policy restricting gear and fishing methods and prohibiting the retention of sharks, including shark fins.
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