OPENING OF THE CONSULTATION
OVERVIEW OF IUU FISHING
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND TIMETABLE
ESTABLISHMENT OF DRAFTING GROUPS
DEVELOPMENT OF A PRELIMINARY DRAFT IPOA
PLENARY CONSIDERATION OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT IPOA
ADOPTION OF THE REPORT
CLOSURE OF THE CONSULTATION
1. The Expert Consultation on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, organized by the Government of Australia in cooperation with FAO, was held in Sydney, Australia, from 15 to 19 May 2000. The Government of Australia gratefully acknowledged financial support for the Consultation from the Government of Canada and the European Commission.
2. The Consultation was attended by 57 Experts in their personal capacity. A list of the Experts is attached as Appendix B.
3. The Chairman of the Consultation, Mr Glenn Hurry, Assistant Secretary, Fisheries and Aquaculture Branch, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia, welcomed Experts to the meeting. He underscored the need to deal effectively with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing because of its adverse impact on long-term sustainability.
4. The Chairman introduced Mr Z.S. Karnicki, Director, Fisheries Policy and Planning Division, Fisheries Department, FAO, Rome, who welcomed Experts to the Consultation on behalf of FAO. In his statement, he explained the process for the elaboration of the International Plan of Action (IPOA) to combat IUU fishing and expressed the view that its development would require hard work and dedication. Mr. Karnicki's statement is attached as Appendix E.
5. The Expert Consultation was opened by Mr Geoff Gorrie, Executive Director, Industries, Development Group, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on behalf of the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mr Warren Truss M.P., who was unable to attend the opening of the Consultation due to unforeseen circumstances. The Minister noted the seriousness with which Australia viewed this issue and the need to address IUU fishing in a comprehensive manner. He wished the Consultation well in its work towards the development of a draft IPOA to combat IUU fishing.
6. Mr David Doulman, Senior Fishery Liaison Officer, Fisheries Department, FAO, Rome, provided a general overview of some aspects of IUU fishing. He noted that IUU fishing occurs in all capture fisheries irrespective of whether they are small-scale or industrial fisheries. It was further noted that IUU fishing serves to undermine conservation and management efforts by both national fisheries administrations and regional fisheries management organizations.
7. In terms of the process to be followed for the elaboration of the IPOA to combat IUU fishing, the Consultation was advised that FAO had been mandated by the twenty-third session of the Committee on Fisheries in 1999 to develop such an IPOA within the framework of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The meeting was further advised that, following this Expert Consultation in Sydney, FAO would convene a Technical Consultation on IUU fishing in Rome from 2 to 6 October 2000. The report of the Sydney Expert Consultation will be made available in advance by FAO to all its Members and observers in all the working languages of the Organization. It was envisaged that the preliminary draft of the IPOA developed at the Sydney meeting would provide a useful basis for discussion and negotiation at the October Technical Consultation, while recognizing that the preliminary draft would, in no way, pre-empt or prejudice discussion at the Technical Consultation, or commit any of the participants.
8. The Consultation adopted the Agenda attached as Appendix A. The documents placed before the Consultation are shown in Appendix C.
9. The Consultation established five drafting groups to facilitate the work of the meeting.
10. The Experts worked in drafting groups to develop a preliminary draft IPOA to combat IUU fishing. The drafting groups utilized, inter alia, text suggestions provided by authors who had been engaged to prepare documents for the Consultation.
11. A preliminary draft of the IPOA to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, elaborated by the Consultation, is attached as Appendix D.
12. The report of the Consultation was adopted by the Consultation on Friday 19 May 2000.
13. The excellent leadership of the Chairman was commended by all the Experts, the hospitality of the Australian Government was appreciated and the efficient work of the FAO and local staff for facilitating the Consultation was also commended. The Chairman thanked Experts for their dedicated efforts during the Consultation and expressed optimism that the preliminary draft IPOA to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing would form an important starting point in the process towards finalizing an IPOA for adoption at the twenty-fourth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries in February 2001.