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Day 4 – Wrapping up a day early

Astrid Holtan, Director, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Norway, Audun Lem, Secretary of the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade , AND Youssef Ouati, COFI Sub-committee Chair

There must be something about the warm Moroccan hospitality, or the gentle Agadir sea breezes, but for the first time in recent history, the FAO COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade has completed its full agenda, adopted the final report, and finalized its work one day early.

“The efficiency of this Agadir meeting was remarkable,” according to Audun Lem, Deputy-Director of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and Secretary of the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade. “I have been working with the Sub-committee for the past ten sessions, and this is the most inspirational session I’ve attended.  There was a tremendous collaborative spirit among the country delegations, and all participants worked hard to reach a compromise on topics where delegations had divergent views. With this spirit of collaboration, I believe we can make great progress on the important fish trade issues with which we work in our increasingly globalized industry.”

The final day included an announcement by the Government of the Republic of Korea that Korea would host the 16th session of the Sub-committee.

Korea was elected as the new Chair of the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade. Argentina, Indonesia and United States of America were elected as Vice-Chairs.

Fishing boats in the Agadir harbor

The Republic of Korea also announced its proposal for the creation of an FAO World Fisheries University, an item that will be discussed for a decision at the upcoming FAO Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (COFI) to be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy this July.

Youssef Ouati, Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fisheries of Morocco and COFI Sub-committee Chair, also expressed his pleasure with this Fifteenth session. He thanked the Moroccan government for its excellent organization of the event and expressed his full confidence in FAO as the neutral forum in which to bring together member countries, private sector associations, international organizations and civil society organizations in order to discuss key issues related to the opportunities and challenges of fish trade. “In my long years of working in this sector, I have found the international community working with fish trade to be talented and generous.

I wish to thank all participants for the spirit of collaboration and the thoughtful dialogue and hard work that helped to make this meeting such a success. I have no doubt we can continue our joint work on these issues, and look forward to the same spirit in Korea at the 16th session.”

The Japanese delegation hard at work as the Sub-committee adopts the final report
Congratulations to the COFI Sub-committee Secretariat
Fish is one of the most widely traded food commodities, and fish trade is increasingly international

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