Detect illegal activities at sea with maritime domain awareness (MDA)

3 Mar 2020

[Douala – February 28th] A course on maritime domain awareness (MDA – Maritime Domain Awareness) was carried out from February 24 to 28, 2020 by the European project GoGIN in collaboration with the multinational coordination center-zone D in Douala (MMCC zone D) .

Led by GoGIN and carried out in close collaboration with managers from the Yaounde architecture, this training was held for 14 operators and managers coming from maritime operations centers (MOC) zone D: MMCC Zone D, operational coastal monitoring centers (COSCO) of Douala, Kribi and Limbe, Maritime control center (CCM) of Douala, MOC of Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe. In addition, this training was attended by a CRESMAC officer, as a future trainer.

Through established procedures Maritime domain awareness allows to collect static and dynamic information on a given maritime area in order to analyse, evaluate, interpret, and determine the parameters and procedures of criminals or offenders undertaking various illegal maritime activities. The ultimate aim is to detect « abnormal » situations. MDA is an essential prerequisite for the definition of efficient action measures to subsequently and sustainably fight against illegal activities.

Through lecture courses and practical exercises, the trainees have learnt to research, identify and analyse any factor likely to affect, impact or benefit the safety, security, economy or environment of the maritime domains of their respective countries. In particular they have learnt to: (1) Extensively use the tools for information visualisation; (2) Extract relevant maritime data using electronic mapping and computer spreadsheet; (3) Specify the main criminal processes in detail; (4) Identify the ships or illegal activities in a meaningful way; (5) Set up operating action measures. To optimize the course, two groups were formed, one with the operators of the centers who learned to visualize the data and the other with the managers who practiced analyzing the information and preparing briefings.

The most frequent maritime criminal processes encountered within the Gulf of Guinea such as piracy, illicit fishing, polluting or coastal armed robbery, were the main subjects studied during this course.

Finally, this training session enabled participants to exchange about the daily difficulties they face as well as the means, technical measures or procedures implemented to solve them, whenever possible.

Similar courses will be organised during 2020 in the other MMCC of the Yaoundé Architecture. As an integral part of the GoGIN teaching staff, the managers of Yaounde’s Architecture training Divisions will be giving the next courses.

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