The board, staff and fellows of the United Nations University - Fisheries Training Program in Iceland send you best wishes for the festive season and a Happy New Year.
2017 was an active year for UNU-FTP.
In addition to regular activities, like the six month post graduate training and in-country work, UNU-FTP took part in several large conferences and projects in 2017. Expanding activities required the addition of program staff.
Six Months Training
This winter marks the arrival of the 20th cohort of fellows for the six-month training offered by UNU-FTP. They arrived in September and are already half way through the program, 21 fellows from 15 countries.
Altogether 347 fellows have completed the UNU-FTP six month training in Iceland since 1997. They come from 53 countries mostly in Asia, Africa, S-America and the Caribbean. Overall males are in majority but, interestingly, of this year’s 21 fellows 13 are female.
The program has seen many developments recently, including streamlining the main areas of focus to better address the needs of partner countries including stock assessment, fisheries policy and management, sustainable aquaculture, and fish handling and processing.
In April UNU-FTP held a short course on improved fish smoking methodologies in Kigoma by Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.
The course was developed in cooperation with Matís and the Tanzanian Fisheries Research Institute, and is part of a project awarded to Matís by the Nordic Climate Facility.
Over the past several years, Matís has been refining the design of an improved smoking kiln intended for use in rural communities in Africa.
During that time, several fellows at the UNU-FTP in the Quality Management in Fish Handling and Processing line of specialization in the six month course have research the kiln's performance.
Later in the year UNU-FTP organized and participated in two other short-courses:
- A regional course on culture based fisheries, held in Vietnam in cooperation with Nha Trang University and NACA (Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific);
- and a course on aquaculture, held in Cameroon in cooperation with the Ministry of Fisheries in Cameroon and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development).
UN Ocean conference
In June UNU-FTP participated in the United Nations Ocean Conference.
It was held in New York to support the implementation of sustainable development goal 14 (SDG 14): Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
UNU-FTP staff made presentations and took part in the organization of four side events and made a statement during one of the plenary meetings.
Furthermore, UNU-FTP made two voluntary commitments, focusing on …
- development of blue Economy in SIDS countries; and on
- poverty alleviation in coastal African countries.
World Seafood Congress
In September UNU-FTP took an active part in the biannual World Seafood Congress, which this year focused on Growth in the Blue Bioeconomy and was held in Reykjavík.
UNU-FTP sponsored 22 former and 21 present fellows to attended the congress. The sponsored former UNU-FTP fellows gave presentations and posters.
Dr. Jakob Rhyner, Vice Rector of the UNU, made a presentation and chaired a session as did staff and other guests of UNU-FTP.
The World Seafood Congress dinner was a celebration of the 20th year of UNU-FTP.
The conference was preceded by the World Seafood Roundup organized by IAFI, Matis, FAO and UNU-FTP.
The WSC was followed by a High-Level Meeting coordinated by the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries, where the Director of UNU-FTP moderated a discussion on the management of marine living resources.
EU Horizon 2020, FarFish
June marked the beginning of FarFish, a new EU Horizon 2020 project in which UNU-FTP is taking part. The research consortium is comprised of experts from 21 organizations inside and outside of the European Union.
The FarFish project goal is to promote sustainable fisheries from stocks where EU nations fish outside EU waters based on fishing agreements.
UNU-FTP is leading a work package on capacity building and dissemination and has already carried out a training needs assessment in Mauritania, with three similar assessments on the agenda for the first quarter of 2018
And much more …
- UNU-FTP welcomed world-renowned fisheries biologist Dr. Ray Hilborn for a series of lectures on the state of world fisheries and management. These lectures were well attended by leading scientists and policy makers.
- The program received high-level delegations from Indonesia, Nigeria and Mozambique; each composed of representatives from the fishery industry and /or political establishment of the respective country.
- Two UNU-FTP scholarships PhD candidates completed their studies this year, Chrisphine Nyamweya from Kenya and Godfrey Kawooya Kubiriza from Uganda. At present three are pursuing their MSc and three their PhD studies.
- During the year a major external evaluation was conducted on all the UN University’s Icelandic programs. The outcome was positive showing the structure, content, ideology and instruction commendable -- see here » (English) and here » (Icelandic).
- Expanding activities required the addition of program staff.