Fisheries management and monitoring of environmental impact on fish resources in the Baltic sea
Report ID: 159

1. In 2008 the Supreme Audit Institutions of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden conducted an audit of environmental monitoring and fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions in Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Russia, and Sweden did not participate in the audit of the environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea. The Supreme Audit Institutions of Latvia, Poland and Germany did not participate in the audit of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea. The audit was performed as a performance and compliance audit and covered the period 2005-2007.

2. The audit was divided into two parts: The first part was about environmental monitoring in the Baltic Sea and the second part was about fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

3. The overall objective of the first part was to assess whether the signatory states of the Helsinki Convention are complying with the standards of the Cooperative Monitoring in the Baltic Marine Environment (COMBINE) and how the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) will affect national monitoring.

4. The overall objective of the second part was to conduct a review of fisheries management and control in the Baltic Sea.

5. The first and the second part of the audit share the following overall objective: How have the monitoring and fisheries control authorities contributed to preserve the marine environment and protect the fish stock in the Baltic Sea.

6. The relevant national legislation in the EU Member States is supposed to be within the frame set by the EU. However, the monitoring and fisheries management and control strategies may differ significantly among the individual countries, and comparative analyses may provide an overview of what is considered good practice. Furthermore, Russian fisheries legislation is, naturally, not adjusted to the EU-regulations. The Russian Federation’s national fishery legislation takes into consideration the requirements and provisions of nine international conventions and agreements related to fishery issues in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, Russia still adheres to the recommendations of the International Baltic Sea Fisheries Commission (IBSFC) in spite of the fact that it was dissolved in 2004.

7. The audit was planned and conducted as a parallel audit. A parallel audit means that the participating audit institutions audit the same audit objectives in their respective countries and identify relevant audit criteria and audit methods together. However, it is up to the individual supreme audit institution to decide how to conduct the audit and which audit criteria and audit methods to apply in the audit. The Joint Final Report is prepared on the basis of the data provided by the participating supreme audit institutions.

Pacific Regional Report of the Cooperative Performance Audit: Managing Sustainable Fisheries
Report ID: 237

This report provides a regional overview of the process and outcomes of the third Cooperative Performance Audit in the Pacific region. At the aggregate level, it reports the significant findings about managing sustainable fisheries (in particular the tuna fishery) in the nine Pacific island countries, which were the focus of the audit. The report also records the achievements against Pacific Regional Audit Initiative (PRAI) objectives, including building performance auditing capacity within PASAI.

Nine PASAI member audit offices took part in the audit: PICT 1, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, PICT 2, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. Owing to confidentiality reasons, the reports of two SAIs are not identified in this regional report, as they have not yet been made public within their jurisdictions. As a result, these Pacific island states are referred to as Pacific Island Country and Territory (PICT) - PICT 1 and 2. Of the SAIs participating in the third cooperative audit, the majority had participated in either the first or the second cooperative audit. The Solomon Islands SAI was new to the cooperative performance audit approach.

Key Findings

The main findings from each of the three lines of enquiry are presented below:

  1. The overall finding for the first line of enquiry is that, while government objectives are set out in legislation, these objectives need to be reflected in sector planning arrangements.
  2. The overall finding for the second line of enquiry is that, while there have been important sub-regional developments, it is difficult to provide assurance that economic returns to the Pacific island states involved in this audit, are uniformly fair and reasonable.
  3. The overall finding for the third line of enquiry is that the accuracy of fishery data collection and analysis procedures as the basis for good decision making are less than optimal.

Coastal and Marine Environments in Africa: A Cooperative Audit by the African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E)
Report ID: 240

In 2017, AFROSAI-E initiated a cooperative project to audit coastal and marine environments in Africa. Six Supreme Audit Institutions from the region participated. This publication expands on the process followed and the common findings among the participating countries.

AFROSAI-E (African Organisation of English-Speaking Supreme Audit Institutions), with the support of the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), initiated a project in 2017 to capacitate SAIs of countries with coastal areas, to conduct audits to:

  • Assess the state of coastal ecosystems;
  • Understand the significant issues and coastal zone management risks for coastal communities;
  • Make recommendations for improvement.

The AFROSAI-E region has 16 member countries that are coastal states, two of which are island states. Six SAIs agreed to participate in this cooperative audit using a mix of both performance and compliance audit principles and methodology. The six SAIs are Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Sudan and Tanzania.


Lack of public awareness of coastal environmental issues: Three of the participating SAIs found that there is limited general awareness and understanding by the public of the importance of the marine environment and related pollution and degradation issues.

Outdated and insufficient legislation/ policies and poor alignment with international commitments: Almost all the participating SAIs found that legislation, policies and plans related to coastal management and protection are outdated and insufficient to address many of the current environmental risks.

Inadequate human and technical resources: Two SAIs found that there are inadequate human and technical resources (satellite surveillance systems, vessel monitoring systems, boats for inspections etc.) to manage and monitor coastlines and marine environments. Human resources also lack the necessary competencies and understanding of marine-related environmental risks and issues. Technical resources and infrastructure essential to the guarding of the coastal zones are scarcely available.

Too many silos and too little coordination: Three of the six SAIs found that the relevant sector (coastal/marine environment) policies are fragmented. Limited or no cooperative arrangements and coordination exist among the various spheres of government and relevant stakeholders, to manage and protect coastal regions and related resources.

Inadequate data, statistics and information systems: Three of the participating SAIs found that national data, statistics and information systems that inform decisions and coastal programmes are inadequate or completely unavailable. For example, statistics on threatened marine species and fishing activities as well as data on the health status of marine environments and the levels of coastal degradation are not available.

Inadequate monitoring of coastal resources and poor enforcement of legislation: All six SAIs found that monitoring of coastal resources and enforcement of legislation are inadequate.

Ineffective performance indicators to monitor progress: Two SAIs found that either no key performance indicators are being implemented to measure progress in achieving objectives on the management and condition of coastal and marine resources, or the indicators used are ineffective.

Insufficient coastal response strategies specific to climate change risks: Almost all the participating SAIs found that climate change response strategies related to coastal environments are insufficient or non-existent.

Are adequate mechanisms in place for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas within the Mediterranean Sea?
Report ID: 241

The cooperative audit identified that the necessary mechanisms for the designation and effective management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within the Mediterranean Sea were not always in place to achieve the desired equilibrium between the sustainability of Marine Protected Areas and blue growth.

This cooperative audit based its findings and conclusions on seven individual national audit reports, which were compiled by the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Albania, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. These national reports considered MPAs to entail a delineated marine site, which may have been already designated or is to be designated as such under international, regional or national legal frameworks and policies. The main objective of a MPA is to conserve and nurture the marine biodiversity while striking a balance with any economic activity permitted in the area. This definition includes, but is not restricted to, Natura 2000 sites, Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) designated under the Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Biological Diversity of the Barcelona Convention, artificial reefs or designated Marine Parks.

The aim of the cooperative audit was to determine the degree to which countries in the Mediterranean region are effectively conserving marine biodiversity to attain the targets set in national legislation and international protocols. To address this aim, the participating SAIs compiled an audit design matrix based on issues relating to the regulatory framework, strategies, site’ assessments undertaken, management plans drafted and national surveillance efforts. The analysis of these five key areas, led to these main findings:

a. The legal framework regulating MPAs is sufficiently robust and mandates national authorities to ascertain the sustainability of the marine environment. However, it does not provide a common definition of what constitutes a MPA. In addition, overlapping and in some instances conflicting provisions were identified within the national regulatory frameworks.

b. National strategic frameworks, generally, reflected the political will and aimed to outline the relevant outputs as well as outcomes through the designation of MPAs. However, in three of the participating countries no comprehensive sector specific strategies are in place, while all SAIs identified the potential of strengthening national strategic frameworks, so as to optimize their impact.

c. Participating SAIs noted that national authorities have carried out the relevant site assessments to designate MPAs. Nonetheless, the scope of these assessments was not always appropriately broad, either due to resource and technical expertise limitations, or to diplomatic issues when the site assessments concerned joint jurisdictions or the high-seas.

d. While it is recognised that management plans are key to the implementation of measures to ensure the sustainability of MPAs, most participating SAIs reported that site-specific plans are not yet in place. Moreover, other technical and logistical limitations, such as coordination issues and the non-deployment of resources, influenced the degree to which participating countries could implement specific measures to ascertain the conservation of protected species within MPAs.

e. SAIs reported that site-specific management plans, administrative capacity weaknesses and coordination limitations between stakeholders are the key elements that hindered adequate monitoring and enforcement of measures in MPAs. Monitoring and enforcement shortcomings do not guarantee that MPAs and therefore the biodiversity they aim to protect are being managed, as well as utilised, in a sustainable manner.

Governments’ responsibilities in designating, managing and enforcing the regulatory framework concerning MPAs is a complex endeavour. This audit has noted that more needs to be done to find a balance between the protection of the marine environment and the economic activities within. Within this context, site-specific plans and the deployment of the appropriate level of resources are a prerequisite to effective management, regulation and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas.

The equilibrium between marine conservation and blue growth also necessitates cross-border cooperation. To this effect, the strengthening of bi-lateral and multi-lateral frameworks of cooperation in this area between Mediterranean countries is critical to the sustainability of this biodiversity and socio-economic rich sea.

Joint report on the results of the coordinated parallel audit on protection of the Black Sea against pollution
Report ID: 268

The initiative of conducting the Coordinated Parallel Audit on Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution was introduced by the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine during the XII INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing meeting, that was held on January 25-29, 2009 in Doha, State of Qatar.

In May 2010, the SAIs of  Republic of Turkey, Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russian Federation and Georgia decided to carry out a coordinated audit of Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution.

The audit objective was to assess the implementation of commitments resulting from international agreements and collaborative projects on prevention of disasters and catastrophes and pollution of the Black Sea marine environment as well as to monitor and assess the efficiency while utilizing the public funds allocated to this end.

According to the report the cooperation was based on the rules contained in the official publication by the INTOSAI WGEA titled “Cooperation between SAIs, Tips & Examples for Cooperative Audits”, approved in 2007 at the INTOSAI WGEA Meeting.