MCS Network Enhancement Project Proposal
The MCS Network Enhancement Project is designed to show a functioning model for
strengthening the MCS Network by providing additional services to the Network members.
These services will include the collection and dissemination of fisheries and MCS information
from a wide array of sources, the development of analytical capabilities and development and
provision of training. This will be accomplished by adding a small full-time staff who will
engage in the aforementioned tasks. The purpose of the three-year MCS Network Enhancement
Project is to achieve growth in the effectiveness and capabilities of the MCS Network and to
assess the value that a small full-time staff would bring to the MCS Network.
The MCS Network is a voluntary organization that has experienced accelerated growth in the last
few years increasing from five to more than fifty member countries. The Chair, Michele Kuruc,
and Executive Secretary, Alejandro Covarrubias, are also volunteering their time, as the Network
had no full-time personnel dedicated to growth and development. During the 2004 meeting in
Madrid, the need for additional personnel resources due to this rapid growth was presented to the
MCS Network members by the Chair for the first time. The members discussed various options
but deferred any final decisions until formalized proposals were developed.
In March 2005, the High Seas Task Force (HSTF) identified enhancing the MCS Network as a
key priority with the hopes of facilitating contributions from a core group of committed countries
to assist with this enhancement, (visit www.high-seas.org to learn more about the HSTF). The
HSTF was successful in getting commitments from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United
Kingdom and the United States to donate funds to a project to enhance the MCS Network.
While the HSTF disbanded in March 2006, the five donor countries met in May 2006 to discuss
the project and the level of financial commitments from each country.
In order to ensure the ongoing success of the MCS Network, it needs staff and resources beyond
the current commitments of the Chair and Executive Secretary. The main objective of this three-
year trial project is to form a small, full-time staff that will work to increase the effectiveness and
analytical capability of the MCS Network and develop training and technical support
capabilities, particularly for developing countries. The project activities outlined in this proposal
are guided by the original activities and functions identified by the MCS Network members
nearly five years ago in the original Terms of Reference (TOR).
IV. Structure of Project
During the three-year project, the MCS Network will continue to be hosted by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service in the United States and the
Network Chair and Executive Secretary will maintain in their current roles. NOAA recognized
that this project would be a significant undertaking and decided that to successfully carry out
their hosting commitment, additional resources were needed. Therefore, the director of NOAA
Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement (OLE), Dale Jones, has been designated by NOAA as the
Enhancement Project Director and will be responsible for all aspects of this Enhancement Project
for NOAA. He will coordinate operations with the Network Chair and the Executive Secretary.
The staff positions listed below address the most significant needs for the project and add the
most value to the MCS Network.
Network Coordinator – LeAnn Southward Hogan – is responsible for day-to-day support of the
Chair and Project Director and regular interaction with all Network members, the website
administrator and the fisheries analyst. The Coordinator will ensure that information is current
and flowing to those who need it. While this position will provide essential support to the Chair,
and linkage to other staff, it will also assist in organizing meetings and training events. (This
position has been filled on a contract/temporary basis to date by the US in support of the MCS
Network previous to the HSTF recommendations)
Fisheries Analyst – in consultation with the Project Director, Chair, Project Working Group and
Network members, this person will be responsible for identifying, analyzing and compiling
information from a range of different sources. This person would engage in focused research per
an agreed work program to develop reports on MCS related topics such as threat assessments,
movements in specific fleets, general trends in fisheries data (trade flows/stock assessments),
corporate structures, the movement of resources and as required, identifying specific areas for
additional research and analysis. These products developed by the fisheries analyst will be
distributed to all MCS Network members. (Recruitment for this position is contingent upon the
acceptance of the enhancement project proposal)
Website Administrator – Peter Artale - is responsible for the on-going updates and
maintenance of the MCS Network website and would work very closely with the Network
Coordinator, Chair and Project Director to ensure that the information that is collected is quickly
posted. The website administrator will provide input to the design, development, and
maintenance of a database, if necessary, for housing information collected by the Fisheries
Analyst or provided by Network members. (The MCS Network website was initially established
by NOAA OLE with support from Peru.)
MCS Training Officer – This position would work closely with the Project Director, Network
Coordinator, Fisheries Analyst, Project Working Group and the Network members to assess
training needs and work with MCS Professionals, and potential funders to organize regional and
global training events. It is envisioned that this position will be provided by seconded/detailed
MCS Technical Liaison - This person will provide hands on technical experience on current
case-related issues and tactical analysis of MCS operations, and ensure appropriate and up to
date experience is available to the MCS Network members. Possible outputs could include a
collection of standard operating procedures or best practices for MCS activities.
b) Project Activities
1). Collect and Post Fisheries MCS Information: As envisioned in the MCS Network Terms of
Reference, information on each member country will be collected and posted on the MCS
Network website to facilitate communication and information exchange. Information will
include member country representative contact information, country specific fisheries laws,
vessel related information, fishing permits/authorizations, and catch/landing information. This
task is already underway but will continue during the enhancement project. When surveyed, the
current MCS Network members supported the collecting and posting of the additional
Current IUU and MCS information of interest
Other papers, activities of interest
News of interest to MCS practitioners, such as vessel apprehensions, convictions of guilt,
case outcomes, new initiatives, etc.
Newsletters of other MCS organizations
Links to other relevant Networks
Publicly available case information, such as a court decision
Sample boarding procedures or checklists
Circulate requests for information or assistance
Current case related or investigative information
The Network Coordinator will work together with the Website Administrator to communicate
with MCS Network member country representatives on a regular basis to acquire the publicly
available information listed above for posting on the website. A database may also be created to
house some of the publicly available data that is collected. This need will be assessed as
information is collected. Currently MCS Network members are strongly encouraged to provide
as much publicly available information to the Network as possible. Sensitive information will
only be shared on a bilateral and as needed basis, arranged by the countries involved.
2). Enhance Analytical Capability: The Fisheries Analyst, in conjunction with the MCS
Technical Liaison and the MCS Network Coordinator will conduct focused research as per an
agreed work program. Topics may include such things as proactive reports regarding IUU threat
assessments, movements in specific fleets, general trends in fisheries data (trade flows/stock
assessments), corporate structures, the movement of resources and as required, identifying
specific areas for additional research and analysis.
This analysis could be achieved with both the data supplied by members and a range of other
free and subscription based sources. The ability to draw material from a range of sources, review
and analyze it and to identify new associated material will enable a range of additional linkages
to be made which are not currently available. It is envisioned that this research would enable the
analyst to prepare “proactive” reports that would be distributed to all MCS Network members to
assist them in assessing their enforcement needs so that they may have the greatest possible
impact on IUU activity. Few developing countries currently have such capability.
3). Training: A commonly cited request of the MCS Network members is to have large scale
training workshops biennially as well as regional and topic specific workshops. As demonstrated
by the recent Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop, significant amounts of
personnel and financial resources are required if training programs are to be successful. One of
the main goals of this project is to convene regular meetings of MCS practitioners to exchange
views on current MCS problems and to provide training and technical support to MCS Network
members, especially to personnel from developing countries.
c) Governance and accountability
Project Working Group: The Project Working Group will be responsible for overseeing the
enhancement project’s activities and work program, regularly reviewing performance and
assisting the Project Director with the appointment of the staff for the project.
The Project Working Group will be comprised of:
The Project Director
Representatives from the donor countries, (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the
3 Representatives from non-donor MCS Network member countries; and
The MCS Network Chair and Executive Secretary.
MCS Network Members: It is envisioned that the current Chair and Executive Secretary will
continue to serve until otherwise decided by the Network. The MCS Network members will
provide advice and guidance to the Project Working Group on various aspects of the
enhancement project. Sub-Committees comprised of MCS Network members could be
established to support the Project Working Group on specific issues that arise during the project.
Three-Year Work Plan
The Project Working Group in conjunction with the Network Chair and Project Director will
develop a Three Year Work Plan for the project which will be approved by the MCS Network
members. The Plan will include the broad outputs and outcomes expected for each of the three
years and provide a means of assessing (prior to the third year) the success of the initiative. It
should also provide for work to be done on the future transition of the Network to an
independent international organization.
The Annual Report on the project will be developed by the Project Director in conjunction with
the Project Working Group and will report on performance against the specific outputs and
outcomes set out in the three-year work plan. It will also provide details of expenditure against
the budget for the year in question. Annual Reports will be posted on the MCS Network
At the end of the three-year MCS Network Enhancement project a final report will be developed
by the Project Director in conjunction with the Project Working Group. This report will include
An assessment of the success of the project;
An evaluation of whether or not the project achieved the objectives and goals set out in
the project proposal and the work plan;
Recommendations and suggestions for improvement; and
Continuation and next steps.
If the project is deemed successful at the conclusion of the three year period, more detailed
governance arrangements and operating modalities would need to be developed. These may
involve a formal agreement to establish an autonomous international organization, agreement on
a host nation, and a formula for contributions to the budget. These longer-term arrangements
could be progressed during the enhancement project.
V. Funding and Budget
The funding for the enhancement project will come from financial commitments made by the US
in hosting the MCS Network in addition to contributions from Australia, New Zealand, Canada,
and the United Kingdom totaling USD $235,000 per year for each of the three years of the
enhancement project. The budget will be allocated for the following purposes however the
Project Working Group will make decisions on the final allocation of the budget.
Allocation of the current USD $235,000 will be as follows:
$105,000 – Fisheries Analyst
Secondment – MCS Training Officer
$105,000 – MCS Technical Liaison
$50,000 – Development of Database, Computer equipment, Supplies
$55,000 – Staff Travel associated with delivery of services and other costs associated
In addition to the above funding, NOAA will continue to host the MCS Network and provide
costs for offices and facilities as well as increased funding to meet the needs of the three-year
Project. NOAA will contribute approximately USD $300,000 per year for three years for the
1) Personnel Contracts: Network Coordinator and Website Administrator;
3) Translation and Interpretation services;
4) Other services as necessary.
The funds that have been allocated for the first year of this project equal USD $535,000. While
this project is viable with the current level of funding, it would greatly benefit from additional
contributions of funds. In order to carry out the training aspect of the MCS Network
Enhancement Project an additional USD $100,000 a year is needed. This would ensure that the
project could accommodate multiple MCS training events and could sponsor travel of
participants from developing countries.