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About the course​

The IV Course on Maritime Security, organised by the Atlantic Centre and​ the National Defence Institute (IDN) of Portugal, in partnership with the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute, in Accra, the Policy Center for the New South, in Rabat, the Institute for Security Studies, in Pretoria, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, will take place from 26-31 May 2024, in the Portuguese Military Air Base Nº 4, Lajes, Terceira Island, Azores, under the topic "Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing in the Atlantic".​

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To participate in the IV Maritime Security Course​, please fill in the following form.​

The registrations are now closed

Please note that the files you need to upload must have different names.

The IV Maritime Security Course​, organised by the Atlantic Centre and the National Defence Institute (IDN) of Portugal, in partnership with the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute, in Accra, the Policy Center for the New South, in Rabat, the Institute for Security Studies, in Pretoria, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, will take place from 26-31 May 2024, in the Portuguese Military Air Base Nº 4, Lajes, Terceira Island, Azores, under the topic "Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing in the Atlantic".

The course aims to provide the appropriate conceptual tools to better grasp the complexity of multidimensional maritime challenges, as well as to explore how to best strengthen capacities and foster local resilience, while promoting solutions that enhance social cohesion and advance respect for human rights and dignity in maritime-bound contexts.

The following eligibility criteria should be abided:

  • Staff officers from all services of the armed forces (OF3-OF5) or civilians equivalent, including high-level public officials, researchers, academics, NGO and IO staff and practitioners.
  • Nationals from or working in an Atlantic country.
  • Proven relevant experience in the field of maritime security and related areas.

The Atlantic Centre strongly encourages a balanced participation of men and women in its activities.

Documents to be submitted:

  • CV
  • Application/Motivation letter from the candidate
  • The required documentation should be submitted on the registration form. The organizing committee, composed of one representative of each partner entity, will have the final decision regarding every participant.

The course will be taught entirely in English and the target audience will include military personnel, public servants, and high-level officials from Atlantic countries, with a previous background on maritime security issues or ongoing professional responsibilities related to such issues.

A total of 30 slots will be made available. Support will be provided to participants in terms of accommodation and meals, throughout the duration of the course. Travel expenses and formalities to and from Terceira Island, Azores, will be of the responsibility of each participant.

Trainers and guest speakers will be recruited and invited from partner countries and institutions, with different professional backgrounds to ensure diversity of profiles.


Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing poses a significant global maritime security threat. Obtaining accurate numbers to gauge the scale of the problem is challenging due to its illegal nature, however, it is estimated that around one-fifth of all fish caught worldwide is obtained through IUU fishing, creating an annual black market worth $23 billion1. All parts of the Atlantic are affected by this issue, rendering it a truly whole-of-Atlantic concern. Nevertheless, the impacts and scale of the problem vary across different Atlantic areas and countries. For instance, it is estimated that up to 15% of fish caught in Europe2 is obtained through IUU fishing, while the figure rises to around 40% on the West African coast3. IUU fishing occurs both in the high seas and in maritime spaces under national jurisdiction, presenting a complex challenge that requires international cooperation.

IUU fishing has profound impacts across multiple domains. It poses significant environmental consequences by jeopardizing the sustainability of marine ecosystems. Furthermore, it directly affects the livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations and leads to substantial economic losses. According to Interpol4, IUU fishing is also associated with other illicit activities, such as the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people, piracy and armed robbery at sea and maritime terrorism. As such, it not only intersects with traditional security concerns, but it also represents a food security and broader human security issue, with a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable, particularly women and children5.

The fourth edition of the Atlantic Centre Maritime Security Course (IV MSC) will be dedicated to the theme of Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated fishing in the Atlantic looking to reinforce governance, raise awareness on coordinated action, build a wider Atlantic

IUU fishing picture which contributes to tackle evolving threats and challenges. This edition will be organised by the Atlantic Centre and the National Defence Institute of Portugal, in partnership with Brasil, the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute, in Accra, the Policy Center for the New South, in Rabat, the Institute for Security Studies, in Pretoria, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

The main objectives of the IV MCS are:

A. International, regional and national Responses - Evolving Threats & Challenges - IUU Fishing,

A.1. Emphasize the importance of defining the Atlantic as global commons where states from different continents share important strategic interests.

A.2. Highlight the relationship between maritime security, food security, and national security. Consider land-based causes, namely political, social, economic, and environmental.

A.3. Provide an overview of IUU fishing from a global perspective and assess how non-Atlantic actors can affect IUU Fishing and, subsequently, maritime security in the region. (Mapping IUU fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, focusing on the regions where it is most prevalent).

A.4. Analysing the potential links between IUU fishing and other illicit activities within the framework of transnational organized crime in the regions considered (mainly piracy and armed robbery at sea).

A.5. Evaluate international, regional, and national responses to IUU Fishing in the Atlantic region and the various challenges its poses to Atlantic states, and how the drivers of maritime insecurity differ at the national and regional levels.

B. Consequence Delivery, Legal Authorities, & Jurisdictions

B.1. Discuss the key international legal frameworks for addressing criminality at sea.

B.2. Assess progress and challenges in the process of domesticating international legal frameworks.

B.3. Assess progress and obstacles in defining legal authorities and jurisdictions to deliver consequences for criminality at sea.

C. Collaboration, Information Sharing and technology.

C.1. Describe collaborative approaches to address common threats and challenges. Evaluate and promote the importance of coordination and collaboration (international partnerships) to address maritime security threats and challenges.

C.2. Discuss the importance of information sharing and technology in national, regional, and international approaches to IUU Fishing inside Maritime Security.

C.3. Propose concrete measures to combat the phenomenon of IUU fishing in the regions concerned, considering the role of technology, the regional capacity building, and the international cooperation.


MAY 27th

08:00 – 09:00: Check in

09:00 – 10:00: Portuguese Air Force

  • Administrative instructions
  • The Air Force on IUU Fishing

10:00 – 10:15: Coffee Break

10:15 – 11:30: Round Table - IUU Fishing an Atlantic threat without borders.

  • Speakers: Exec. Director Maja Kostelac (EMSA); PHD Anup Phayal; PHD Christian Bueger; Vice Air Marshall Frank Hanson (GoGMI)
  • Moderator: Professor Assis Malaquias (ACSS)

11:30 – 11:45: Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:45: Opening Interventions

  • Atlantic Centre Coordinator
  • Azores Government
  • National Defense Minister (TBC)
  • MOU with AASP and UNITAR

12:45 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 15:15: Panel #1: Marine Biodiversity and IUU Fishing impact: Prevention Mechanisms

  • Air Centre & IH GEOMETOC
    • CFR Luís Quaresma dos Santos

    16:15 – 17:30: Panel #2: International Regulations and Support Technologies

    • EFCA; EMSA; SRFC; CRFM
    • Emmanuel Sabuni (COREP)
    • Moderator: João Fonseca Ribeiro

    17:30 – 18:00: Daily collection of ideas


    MAY 28th

    09:00 – 10:30: Panel #3: Atlantic Governance Morning

    • Navy Cpt João Fonseca Ribeiro – Blue Geo Lightouse Lda
    • PHD Paul Isbell – CAF Energy Fellow at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins

    10:30 – 11:00: Coffee Break

    11:00 – 13:00: Panel #3 (cont.): Atlantic Governance Morning

    13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

    14:00 – 16:00: Panel #3 (conclusion): Atlantic Governance Morning

    16:15 – 17:30: Panel #4: Regional Governance Perspectives

  • UNITAR / GoGMI/ ISS/ AASS
    • Jon- Hans Coetzer, Commodore James Kontoh, Timothy Walker, Ambassador Tarik Iziraren (African Atlantic States Process)

    17:30 – 18:00: Daily collection of ideas


    MAY 29th

    09:00 – 10:30: Panel #5: IUU Fishing & Coast Guard (European Coat Guard Forum)

    • DGAM/ GNR UCCF/ USCG
    • Coastal and Border Control Unit, tbc
    • Moderator: CMG PT Costa Cabral

    10:30 – 11:00: Coffee Break

    11:00 – 13:00: Panel #6: Fisheries and Processing Industry/ Aquaculture Development: Effects on IUU Fishing

    • DGRM (Ricardo Segurado) / Industry National & International (Marr)/ Lotaçores

    13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

    15:00 – 16:00: Panel #7: Marine Protected Areas, Maritime Borders – The added value for local communities

    • Blue Azores; DGRM; Universidade dos Açores, Amazônia Azul
    • Bernardo Brito e Abreu, Ricardo Segurado, Aldino Campos
    • Moderator: PHD Helena Calado

    16:00 – 16:15: Coffee Break

    16:15 – 17:30: Panel #8: Atlantic Centre´s IUU Research Project

    • CMG PT António Alexandre & Researchers (Jacob Aloisi, Juliet Obeng, Catarina Dias)

    17:30 – 18:00: Daily collection of ideas


    MAY 30th

    09:00 – 11:00: PRT Navy & National Maritime Authority: Interagency, practical Oversight exercise.

    11:00 – 11:30: Coffee Break

    11:30 – 13:00: Panel #9: The International View: Regional Experience

    • Cameroon/ Cabo Verde/ Colômbia/ Brasil
    • Cpt. Cyril Atonfack, Cpt. Armindo Graça (CV),Cpt. Andrés Rosero (COL), Cpt. Vítor Sucena (BR)

    13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

    14:00 – 17:00: Visit to Air Centre and Angra

    17:30 – 18:00: Daily collection of ideas


    MAY 31st

    09:00 – 10:00: Panel #10: Regional Cooperation and IUU Fishing

    • ENMAR / Cameroon

    10:00 – 10:15: Coffee Break

    10:15 – 11:00: Panel #11: FLAD Atlantic Security Award

    • Jan Stockbuegger, Alexandra Dias
    • Moderator: CMG Picoito (IDN)

    11:00 – 11:30: Coffee Break

    11:30 – 13:00: Closing Ceremony

    13:00 – 14:00: Lunch

    ​14:00: END

    Download the complete Course Schedule​​​​

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