The "bridge building" challenges of training regulators in fisheries / by Francisco Blaha

There are many challenges associated to training people "into" fisheries, if they don't come from fishing families or the industry, even in fishing "nations" like many of the Pacific Islands.

I believe that there is a "fisheries" culture, that is quite difficult for "outsiders" to access if they don't have direct links to it. On the other hand, people inside the "culture" while quite protective, do respect those who take the time to learn how things work in their world. 

Big part of my work, when training people that normally comes from the "outside", goes beyond the rules and regulations only, as I try to foster a understanding in between these two worlds, and create a bridge, based on two pillars: knowledge and respect of each other roles and world.

Easier said than done tho... in any case while sending future and present inspectors to sea for a month would be my ideal, this is not yet possible. 

So early morning unloads, vessels inspections at the hours the industry work (as opposite as ministry working hours), and getting them to talk about their jobs is the next best thing.

These images are from this morning at 5am, from an unloading in Suva's newest wharf... ironically named "Brussels Boulevard"!