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Objectives, policies and strategies for fisheries development

The Committee reviewed the complex and various factors which had to be assessed by governments when planning fisheries development. Most delegations stated that their countries wished to apply a policy based on the expansion of national fishing capacities, while others preferred to adopt a fisheries development strategy which included the negotiation of transitory joint ventures or bilateral access agreements.

(paras. 9–10)

The Committee agreed that the important contribution of inland water fisheries and aquaculture should be fully taken into account when planning fisheries development, particularly with respect to improved food supply and socio-economic conditions of rural population.

(para. 16)

The Committee observed, that notwithstanding the recognition of sovereign rights in exclusive economic zones over fishery resources, international, regional and sub-regional cooperation remained of importance. It noted with appreciation the offers of collaboration and assistance made by a number of Member Nations.

(paras. 23, 28)

Principles and techniques of fisheries management

The Committee considered that good management of fisheries was an integral part of the development process. It recognized that governments had a strong role in fishery management and should in particular coordinate all national interest groups. Governments should also seek necessary international agreement on the use of shared resources. Implementation of management measures was only possible by involving fishery industry and fishermen. A high priority was given to the expansion of research to identify new fish stocks and to better describe the biology and ecology of those presently exploited, as well as to research on the environment. It was proposed that FAO should prepare an inventory of regional skills and facilities as a basis for TCDC programmes between neighbouring countries.

(paras. 31, 39, 41, 50)

Conditions and control of access to fishery resources in exclusive economic zones

Most delegations stressed the overriding importance of the concept of sovereign rights of the coastal States with respect to the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of the living resources in exclusive economic zones. It was pointed out that the issue of access to fishery resources of exclusive economic zones should be viewed as part only of the wider issue of the rational management of marine living resources. It was generally felt that the granting of access to foreign fishing fleets to the resources of the exclusive economic zones of coastal States should be viewed merely as a transitory phase.

(paras. 52, 54)

The Committee recognized the need for regional cooperation including the harmonization of fisheries legislation and the establishment of regional cooperative mechanisms to enhance the control of coastal States over foreign fishing operations.

(para. 59)

Strong support was given for the continuation of FAO's role in collecting and disseminating information on coastal State's requirements governing access.

(para. 65)

Special problems of small-scale fisheries

The Committee emphasized that the management and development of small-scale fisheries should be a priority area and that it was essential to adopt an integrated approach, including not only components in the production chain, but also social and economic aspects. It agreed that FAO had a particularly important role to play in project planning and training.

(paras. 69, 85)

Special problems of small developing island States in the management and development of fisheries under the new regime of the oceans

The Committee noted the difficulties encountered by small developing island States, including the scarcity of trained manpower, the lack of resource information and of infrastructures, as well as communication and transportation constraints. It identified areas where increase assistance could be provided by FAO, e.g., stock assessment, harmonization of legislation, baitfish culture, processing, market information.

(paras. 87–94)

Special problems of inland fisheries and aquaculture

As regards inland fisheries, the Committee noted that problems in this sector were similar to those of small-scale marine fisheries. In addition, it stressed that fisheries planners should participate actively at the national and international level in decisions concerning integrated basin development. FAO assistance was especially required in assessment and management of anadromous species and of resources of coastal lagoons and newly created reservoirs.

(paras. 97, 101)

The Committee emphasized the role of aquaculture as a source of food in rural and urban areas, as well as a source of employment, income and foreign currency. It stressed that aquaculture development should receive more attention from government planning units, donor agencies and financing institutions.

(paras. 103, 105)

International trade in fish and fishery products

The Committee considered that the various measures suggested for improving the participation and performance of developing countries in international fish trade were in line with the recommendations and decisions of recent international conferences on the subject and pointed out that FAO activities related to trade promotion should be coordinated with the regional and international organizations concerned.

(paras. 110, 116)

The Committee agreed that a multilateral framework for consultations on fish trade matters based on regional arrangements would be valuable. It requested the Secretariat to set up an ad hoc group of specialists which would study the matter, including the possible establishment of an international commodity body within the framework of the UNCTAD Common Fund of Commodities.

(para. 121)

International collaboration in research, management and development, including the role of FAO

The Committee recognized that the introduction of the new regime of the oceans, together with the growing complexity of fishery matters and the number of shared stocks, had increased the importance of international cooperation. It agreed that FAO regional fishery bodies and their sub-regional committees for fishery management and development, supported by associated field programmes, provided a unique mechanism for inter-country cooperation and for the delivery of technical assistance. The importance of cooperation in research and other aspects of inland water fisheries and aquaculture development was also stressed.

(paras. 126, 129, 134)

Draft Programme of Work and Budget for 1984/85

The Committee fully supported the Director-General's proposals for the fisheries programme and agreed that the strategies and priorities recommended did reflect the major needs for the development of world fisheries. It also expressed its satisfaction with the close integration between the Regular and Field Programmes, which was designed to assist developing countries in improving their capabilities in fisheries management and development.

(paras. 153, 168)

Report on the programme of assistance in the development and management of fisheries in the exclusive economic zones

The Committee noted with appreciation the progress made in the implementation of the Director-General's special Action Programme, as regards both medium-term action and long-term studies. It strongly supported the continuation of these activities and suggested that the scope of the Programme might be broadened to include fishery management in large inland water bodies bordered by two or more countries.

(paras. 174, 177)

FAO/UNEP Draft Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Management and Utilization of Marine Mammals

The general aims of the above Draft Plan were supported in principle by the Committee. It was agreed that the Draft Plan needed to be updated and modified, taking into full consideration written and oral comments of Member Governments. The Committee cautioned that there should be no duplication of effort with existing governmental and non-governmental organizations. FAO was requested to establish priorities and to consider the relative importance of this work within its overall fisheries programme.

(paras. 179–180)

Preliminary Consideration of Basic Elements for a Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development and for Associated Action Programmes

The Committee welcomed the elaboration of a draft Strategy for fisheries management and development which would be submitted to the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference. It endorsed a series of basic elements on which guidelines and principles should be formulated by FAO in the light of the Committee's discussions on key issues for fisheries management and development.

(paras. 189–192)

Taking into account the suggestions made by the 1982 Regional Conferences and by delegations at the session, the Committee agreed that proposals for the following five Action Programmes should be submitted to the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference: Action Programmes on fisheries management and development (covering both marine and inland fisheries); on the development of small-scale fisheries; on aquaculture; on trade in fish and fish products; and on the promotion of the role of fisheries in alleviating undernutrition. It also noted that the active participation and concrete support from governments, donor agencies and financial institutions would be necessary.

(para. 199)

The Committee welcomed the recommendation made by the Council in June 1983, that further consultations with governments and with concerned international organizations regarding the Strategy and the Action Programmes should be undertaken before detailed proposals were submitted to the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference. In this respect, it agreed on a number of steps that could be taken by the Director-General before he would finalize the proposals and submit them to the Conference.

(para. 207)

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