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1. The Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP) has as its purpose to (i) keep under continuous review the requirements for fishery statistics for research, policy-making and management, (ii) agree standard concepts, definitions, classifications and methodologies for the collection and collation of fishery statistics, and (iii) make proposals for the coordination and streamlining of statistical activities amongst relevant intergovernmental organizations.

2. The CWP was reconstituted in 1995 so as to allow it to better respond to the increasing demands for reliable fishery statistics such as those resulting from the 1995 UN Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, as well as the 1993 Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which is voluntary in character.

3. The Sixteenth Session of the CWP considered that there is a need to supply existing and potential participating organizations with information about the structure and functions of the CWP. The purpose of the present paper is to outline the origin of the CWP, its development and achievements, and to describe the current role and structure of the CWP and present its new Statutes and Rules of Procedure.

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