Fishery Observer Training Programme (Gabon)
In early 2015 Ophir Gabon collaborated with international NGO the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to provide funding for a Fishery Observer Training Programme for 30 Gabonese nationals.
The programme aims are to provide vocational training in order to develop the observer competencies of the students who, once qualified, will be offered full time employment as Fishery Observers working on 25 trawling vessels off the coast of Gabon.
The employment of Fishery Observers on board fishing vessels will facilitate the regulation of the fishing industry, improving the biodiversity of Gabonese oceans and improving the state of national food security. These strengthened controls and regulations of fishing activities are in line with the Gabonese government’s initiative to monitor and eradicate illegal fishing vessels in Gabonese waters, which, most importantly, guarantees full time employment for graduates from this course.
More closely related to the work of Ophir is the opportunity for qualified Fishery Observers to continue their training and become Marine Mammal Observers (MMO). The qualified MMOs will have the opportunity to be contracted onto seismic vessels for the duration of seismic campaigns, working to identify marine species and record data.