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Various Proposals for Inter-Organization Coordination in Relation to Global Fishery Statistics

36. An Informal Meeting of the Staff of Regional Fishery Bodies (Lisbon, 5-6 March 1976) noted the integrated statistical system which had been developed for the Atlantic under the aegis of the CWP, and supported the strengthening of this Atlantic programme. It was thought inadvisable to expand the areas now covered by the CWP beyond the Atlantic but it was realised that there was an urgent need for coordination in some of the other oceans. For this, the meeting suggested that separate coordinating arrangements, similar to the CWP, should be established by FAO and the regional bodies concerned.

37. At its Ninth Session in 1977, the CWP discussed the suggestion of an extension of its membership and area of activity to cover the world's seas, and the Report of the Ninth Session states that the need for such a body had been expressed by the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council. However, several participants felt that if the CWP was to make such a change in its structure, the consequent diversification would overload it to the point where it could not continue to function effectively. It was agreed that there was a need for a world-wide coordination of organizations responsible for tuna fisheries, having regard to the very high mobility of the fishing fleets and the resource. The CWP suggested that a coordinating working party on tuna statistics should be set up on a world basis.

38. The Ad hoc Consultation on Global Tuna Statistics (Colombo, Sri Lanka, 6-7 December 1985) agreed that each tuna organization was in the best position to collect, improve and comment on the data for its own area of responsibility and that they, therefore, had a vital role to play in improving data at the global level. It further agreed that some form of inter-organization collaboration was essential if improved coverage and more reliable global tuna statistics were to become a reality and that there was a need to establish some mechanism like the CWP for the coordination of statistical programmes for organizations concerned with tuna statistics.

39. The Second Ad hoc Consultation on Global Tuna Statistics (La Jolla, California, 21-22 May 1987) further considered the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a formal body to coordinate tuna statistical programmes. The consensus was that "(1) it would be more desirable to formalize the group rather than continue in an ad hoc fashion; and (2) the most advantageous way to accomplish this would be to formalize as an FAO body rather than under one of the regional agencies or the CWP". Such a coordinating body for organizations concerned with tuna statistics has not yet been formed, however.

40. At its Fifteenth Session in July 1992, the CWP recommended that the word "Atlantic" be dropped from its title so as to encourage the participation of organizations concerned with areas outside the Atlantic and so facilitate the discussion of fishery statistical issues of global significance.

41. The Ad hoc Consultation on the Role of Regional Fishery Agencies in Relation to High Seas Fishery Statistics (La Jolla, USA, 13-16 December 1993) recognised the global nature of many of the issues discussed at CWP and the usefulness of extending the brief of CWP to a global level. Some concerns were expressed as to the number of participants which might attend global CWP meetings and the time and travel costs which would be incurred. It was noted, however, that these concerns could be met to some extent by using regional sub-groups to review specific regional issues. The Consultation recommended that the CWP should extend its brief to a global scale. It noted that CWP will consider its future role and possible modification of its statutes at its Sixteenth Session, and encouraged as many non-Atlantic organizations as possible to attend that meeting as observers.

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