September 17, 2022 – Panama City, Panama – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently trained 79 participants including fisheries officers from Panama, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua in Analysis and Interpretation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Data for the Panama Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP). The course, which took place virtually from June 27, 2022, to July 1, 2022, introduced Fisheries Statistics based on the International Training Course in Fisheries Statistics and Data Collection developed by FAO in collaboration with the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture of Ghana. It was the first time in over 15 years that a regional course in Spanish on fisheries statistics was delivered in the region.
The topic of the development of national capacity to produce reliable and timely data is addressed in different ways by the Commission with the implementation of various national or regional projects in support of fisheries statistics, in particular with the organization of national and regional training courses. FAO asserts that quality data and statistics are required to address issues of overfishing, ecosystem restoration, and livelihood resilience through decisions based on scientific evidence.
“The training was given in a simple way and with great technical capacity. It met expectations, as the training was based on the main concerns and needs that the technicians had, and it was possible to ask specific questions addressing also national realities. Successful recommendations were made for the improvement of the collection and subsequent data analysis”, said Yesuri Pino, one of the course participants.
Alberto Saa, of Oceanografo added “My expectations were aimed at obtaining clear, precise, objective, and orderly information from the course that would help me to obtain fishing DATA in the field. The training had all the ingredients that [would] allow me to strengthen the fishing information obtained since it included the use of software (Excel) to
process, analyze and interpret the field data from a statistical point of view”.
Meanwhile, Yvette Diei Ouadi, FAO Caribbean Sub-regional Fishery and Aquaculture Officer and
Secretary of WECAFC stated, “The training was one of the last deliverables of this WECAFC project.
The fact that this [was] initially planned [as] a national level event, but it turned out to gather various
members across the OSPESCA membership, is a reflection of the high interest… for well-informed decision-making and investment”.