7. The Committee first reviewed, under item 4 of its agenda, major issues involved in the management and development of fisheries, including inland water fisheries and aquaculture as well as marine fisheries. It noted that the report of its discussions on the various components of this agenda item, together with agenda item 5 (basic elements for a strategy for fisheries management and development and for specific action programmes) would be a major contribution to the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference in 1984.
8. The Committee had before it, as a basis for its discussions, document COFI/83/3, which was supplemented by an introduction by the Secretariat. A number of developing coastal States indicated that the paper itself was too pessimistic about the possibilities of development of developing countries and could have reflected more adequately their aspirations. These delegations, however, were satisfied with the clarification given by the Secretariat when introducing the paper. Many delegations also referred to the usefulness of the Director-General's Keynote Address as valuable background to this item and general orientation for the debate of the Committee.
9. The fundamental changes which have occurred in the legal regime of the oceans, as embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, have created an opportunity and need, on the part of both developed and developing states, to re-examine their national objectives, strategies and policies for the development of fisheries. The Committee reviewed the complex and varied factors which have to be assessed by governments when planning fisheries development. It noted that a wide variety of national objectives can be identified; for example, increased domestic food supplies, increased employment, improved incomes for fishermen, earnings of foreign exchange through trade in fish and fish products. In some cases, such objectives may be conflicting and governments often have to make explicit choices or establish priorities from a range of desirable goals. The Committee recognized that there was therefore a basic need for governments to establish mechanisms and capacities for fisheries planning.
10. The Committee stated that the sovereign rights of each State to determine the most appropriate policy for the development of its fisheries and the utilization of its resources must be clearly recognized in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea adopted in 1982. The Committee noted that a single model for fisheries development was not applicable. The natural, physical and financial resources available, and national aspirations and social and economic targets, varied from country to country. Most of the countries stated that they 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 while they developed their domestic fisheries. To avoid the danger of over-exploitation, careful management and investment planning, based upon research and scientific and economic information, was important. Whatever the choice of policy, or the expected rate of development, the foundation for the sound and sustained development of fisheries remained the conservation and rational management of the resources within the framework of careful planning. Expansion on resources which are not well researched and understood should be undertaken cautiously and step by step.
11. The Committee stressed that plans for the fisheries sector should be properly integrated within the framework of overall national objectives for economic and social development, since initiatives of other sectors of government could have major implications for fisheries. It emphasized the importance of achieving high level recognition of the potential of fisheries and the contribution they can make to national economic, social and nutritional goals.
12. The Committee emphasized that the setting of national objectives, policies and strategies for fisheries development must be mainly based on a thorough assessment of the type, size and state of the fish stocks and of the relevant social and economic conditions affecting fisheries. Reliable and timely data, statistics and scientific and socio-economic information facilitate research, planning and implementation of fishery management and development activities by scientists, economists, administrators and investors. The ability to collect national data and information as well as having access to regional and global data, including the creation of adequate infrastructures to provide such information to users, thus becomes desirable for fishery development.
13. Following from this, the Committee stressed the importance of sound management for stocks heavily exploited and stocks to be exploited in the course of development in order to ensure continuity, sustainability and stability in fishery yields.
14. At the same time, the Committee recognized that fisheries development plans should be dynamic and that they may need revision and adaptation in the light of changes in the resource base, in the species mix or in the domestic and international markets. Development plans should also take full account not only of the means required for the exploitation of the fish resources themselves but also of processing, transport, distribution and marketing requirements.
15. Attention was drawn to the influence of changes in the marine and inland water environments upon fisheries development. Plans should therefore take due account of the need to protect the habitats from the effects of pollution and the industrial or urban development of coastal and riverine areas.
16. The Committee agreed that the important contributions of inland water fisheries and aquaculture should be fully taken into account when planning fisheries development, particularly with respect to the improved food supply and socio-economic conditions of rural populations. At the same time, the special characteristics of aquaculture, which in some respects had much in common with agriculture, were noted.
17. Fisheries strategies should also take into account, at an early stage, nutritional considerations and the integration of fisheries development plans into national nutrition policies. Attention was drawn in this respect to the expert consultation on this subject recently organized by the Government of Norway and to the proposal for a special plan of action to promote the role of fisheries in alleviating undernutrition.
18. The Committee noted that small-scale fisheries, which are of marked socio-economic importance in many countries, may require special support from governments. In this respect, attention was drawn to the importance of designing and introducing, through strong extension services, technologies appropriate to and based upon local conditions rather than importing unsuitable technologies from other countries or regions. At the same time, development policies should try to ensure a proper balance between the potentials and needs of both the artisanal and industrial sectors. Development of national industrial fisheries is required, in many instances, to ensure the full and rational exploitation of fishery resources in exclusive economic zones. Such development necessitates strong multi-disciplinary research management, training and a careful evaluation of the socio-economic impacts likely to be produced by the parallel or alternative development of small and large scale operations.
19. The Committee also placed considerable emphasis upon the need for training in fisheries based upon an analysis of manpower requirements, particularly with regard to the assessment of conditions pertaining to duty performance after training. Appropriate new skills and technologies are required to establish and implement policies and programmes for fisheries development. The improvement of national self-reliance and competence is thus one of the key factors in promoting the better use of the world's fish resources.
20. Attention was further drawn to the need to pursue vigorously policies and programmes designed to reduce post-harvest losses and waste, both at sea and during processing, transport and storage.
21. The Committee underlined the importance of close consultation and collaboration between all groups concerned with fisheries development and the need for the participation of administrators, scientists and fishermen's representatives in the formulation and execution of fisheries management and development plans. This requires the existence of adequate structures for consultations.
22. Sovereign rights over fisheries in exclusive economic zones may bring with it the need to review existing legal and institutional framework for fisheries development, management and control. National legislation and administrative structures should therefore be re-examined, as appropriate, by individual countries and, where necessary adapted to ensure that government policies for fisheries development and management were effectively executed; close cooperation was needed between the various government departments and national agencies whose decisions, in one respect or another, affect the fisheries sector.
23. The Committee observed that, notwithstanding the recognition of sovereign rights in exclusive economic zones over fish resources, international, regional and sub-regional collaboration in fisheries development and conservation remained of importance. It emphasized the value of existing mechanisms for such collaboration, for example FAO regional fishery bodies. It called for renewed support for such bodies and for their associated sub-regional technical assistance projects. The Committee noted with appreciation the role of regional organizations such as the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (SPFFA). In this connexion, the Committee noted the Declaration issued by the recent meeting of the Ministers of Fisheries of the SELA Action Committee on Marine and Freshwater Products, in which it was stated that the sovereign rights of States to preserve and utilize the fishery resources within their jurisdictional waters must be respected, and that this entailed the adoption of agreed regional strategies through which to ensure full realization of the national fishery development aspirations of all the countries in the region. The Committee also emphasized the need for continued and reinforced support for such channels for cooperation and for the fostering of improved mechanisms for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) and Economic Cooperation between Developing Countries (ECDC).
24. Two delegations considered that such joint efforts and technical collaboration could be enhanced by the participation in such regional organizations of other countries from outside the region, whose fishing fleets were operating in the said region.
25. Some delegations brought to the attention of the Committee the situation of states which previously had engaged in extensive distant water fisheries and which now were experiencing certain difficulties with their access to surplus resources in some EEZs. They observed that extended national jurisdiction over fisheries brings not only new rights to coastal states but also new responsibilities for their optimum utilization.
26. Other delegations recalled that their countries' sovereign rights over adjacent waters, now called exclusive economic zones, were proclaimed inter alia long ago precisely for reserving their resources for their national benefit.
27. The Committee also noted the special difficulties, particularly under the current world economic conditions, confronting many developing countries, especially small island states, as they strive to increase the contribution of fisheries to the strengthening of their economic independence. FAO was requested to expand and reinforce its programmes of technical assistance to developing countries, especially in such aspects as policy and planning, management and conservation of resources, training, fisheries legislation, scientific research, technology transfer and the monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries.
28. The Committee noted with appreciation the offers of collaboration and assistance by a number of member nations, in particular China (freshwater fish culture), Poland (krill exploitation) Japan (establishment of fishermen's cooperatives), Brazil (aquaculture), and Cuba (regional cooperation in the Caribbean region).
29. In the field of inland fisheries and aquaculture, adoption of an integrated policy of land and water uses was advocated to utilize the fisheries potential existing in this field.
30. Agenda Item 4(b) was introduced by the Secretariat, who presented document COFI/83/4. The document was warmly received by the Committee who commented on many of the points raised and amplified certain aspects as follows.
Problems in Fisheries Management
31. Most discussion centred around the problems the various countries were experiencing with the management of their fisheries. It was considered that good management of fisheries is an integral part of the development process. To be effective, it requires an adequate supply of information on the resource base, the industry and the available manpower as well as a Government infrastructure capable of translating this information into policy. Attention was drawn to the fact that, to be fully effective, the collection of information, the analysis of resource data and the evaluation of impacts of other human activities on fisheries, need to be initiated as early as possible in the development process. There was a widespread opinion too that the problems of shared resources need special mechanisms for intergovernmental communication and coordination. All these activities require trained manpower and serious problems have been experienced in many countries in finding qualified personnel for their implementation.
32. In some areas fishing has developed on the basis of free, open access to shared resources. There has been no incentive for individual fishermen to conserve the stock. However, when a fishery reaches the stage of full exploitation unless management is introduced, fishermen will compete increasingly strongly among themselves for their shares of a finite stock. This pattern of development frequently leads to depletion of the resources, severe overcapitalization and depressed earnings for the industry.
33. Even delegates from developed countries with a good infrastructure remarked on the few examples where an appropriate balance has been achieved between investment in harvesting, monitoring and protection of the resource, processing, distribution and marketing. It was considered that the needs for such basic items of infrastructure must be taken into account at the initiation of fisheries development, together with the provision of shore facilities including shipyards, repair facilities, harbours and training facilities for fishermen and administrators and technicians.
34. The Committee noted that over the last few years, several factors have had a significant impact on the fishery sector, especially the high costs of fuel, and the scarcity of credit or financial resources for fisheries development. These have significantly slowed the pace of development, particularly in developing countries.
35. In discussing the causes of overfishing throughout the world, the Committee concluded that a number of factors were involved. These factors include the difficulties facing some governments in restricting the right of exploitation of fishermen and therefore redistributing or changing their income. Also certain fisheries investment decisions have sometimes been based on over optimistic expectations about the resources.
36. The idea of fisheries management as directed toward the increase of catch rates in addition to overall catch was introduced. Higher catch rates mean that less fuel and time are used to obtain the same catch although it may require cut-backs in effort that would be painful in the short term. After several years, however, this policy begins to show real dividends, by making the products more competitive on world markets and freeing financial resources for other purposes.
37. The impacts of environmental fluctuations on the resource users were noted. These impacts include changes in species composition, distribution ranges or migration patterns, which are difficult to predict, and often disrupt fishing and marketing strategies. They may also affect the harvest from a shared resource by the countries involved. It was recognized that improving the basic science and the capability for forecasting, where possible, the oceanographic phenomena responsible (e.g., El Nino), is an important priority for FAO, which should work in cooperation with other international agencies such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Unesco, Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (PCSP) and other international fishery bodies, as well as with the governments themselves. Attention was drawn to the growing needs of other users from the same country as regards the EEZ and of inland waters, generally, for industrial waste disposal, tourism and harvesting of non-renewable resources. These, and the generally high cost and demand for riparian land have serious impacts on fisheries, fishermen and aquaculture. It was considered that such impacts can be avoided only by integrated planning of all government departments concerned with the development and planning of water-related activities.
38. Catches of most traditional commercial species have stagnated in many parts of the world and in some fishing grounds stocks are even overexploited; therefore, the priorities for expansion of the fishery were felt to depend on two major policies: firstly, that management should be aimed at preserving and improving the yield from stocks at present under exploitation and, secondly, in the development of new and unexploited resources. The implementation of both these policies was recognized widely to be limited by the resource data at present available. A high priority was, therefore, placed on the expansion of research to identify new stocks and to better describe the biology and ecology of those at present forming the subject of fisheries.
The Role of Governments in Fisheries Management
39. The Committee agreed that there was a strong role for Governments, which have a responsibility to consult with and coordinate all national interest groups, and also internationally to seek necessary agreements on the use of resources, particularly in the case that the same stock or stocks of associated species which occur within or adjacent to the EEZ. It should also make sure that the appropriate advice is available nationally (through training programmes) and internationally (by scientific exchange and cooperation through international agencies). In advocating this role, however, it was recognized that effective formulation of objectives and implementation of fishery policies is only possible by involving the fishing industry and the fishermen themselves in the management process.
40. It was pointed out that whereas it is the nature of fishermen and investors to seek for immediate individual benefits from fisheries, the response of the fishery itself, beyond a certain level of participation, may lead to a progressive reduction of benefits, economic stagnation and even finally to a collapse in stocks. To mitigate this, the Government's role was seen as to ensure that allocation of benefits is consistent with the productivity of resources and to the benefit of the community as a whole.
41. The role of Government agencies in the collection of basic data for the identification of new fisheries as well as for the monitoring of established fisheries was emphasized by the Committee. Data to be collected should include statistics on catches, fishing effort, fleet size and number of fishermen, and may need to be supplemented by fisheries survey activities backed up by a strong capability for the analysis and monitoring of trends in the stocks. It was also considered that the impact of natural environmental fluctuations and pollution on the resources should be monitored by Government, and in inland waters requires active participation by the fisheries departments in decision-making in the allocation of land and water use insofar as this affects the fishery. This involves the provision of adequate funding for research personnel, to work closely with those involved in guiding management and development. The advice of the scientists should be sought in relation to the planning process, taking into account the socio-economic situation to the extent possible, as dictated by the overall limits of production, and conservation of the resource.
42. The Committee also discussed the need for properly framed and integrated national legislations for orderly development. This legislation could be harmonized, where possible, with legislation of neighbouring countries on the inter-related aspects. At the same time, the adverse impact that poorly-framed and over-restrictive regulations have on the fishery development was emphasized. It was noted that there is little advantage in framing regulations if enforcement capability does not exist. The costs of enforcement should be taken into account, particularly as they relate to the benefits expected in developing the fishery.
Techniques of Management
43. An exchange of experience in this area during discussion of this item provided some ideas for appropriate fisheries management. Such exchange could be shared on a more formal case study basis in advance of the World Fisheries Conference, and can be supplemented by short-term exchanges or visits by administrators between countries sharing common problems in fisheries. FAO can play a useful role here in identifying at the request of governments exchange possibilities and availability of trained expertise in various areas.
44. Much discussion centred on problems of shared resources and the need for some coordinated approach for managing these stocks. Clearly, agreement to bring total catches into line with estimated sustainable yields is the big problem but is one also faced by governments with wholly national stocks, when the demands of interest groups usually exceed potential supply. The experience in the N.E. Atlantic showed that in the early stage of such a process, agreement on national allocations was easy to obtain. However, final catches tended to exceed both those agreed by international consultation and those recommended by fishery biologists so that overfishing occurred. No immediate improvement in the state of resources was, therefore, obtained.
45. It was recognized that diversification of fishing methods is often essential to make the most use of resources. Here, traditional “passive” or fixed fishing methods often become more attractive as cost of fuel increases. Allocation of fishing areas by gear type and by season may be a way of ensuring resource conservation or better utilization if enforcement problems exist and there are difficulties in applying quotas. However, in cases of conflict between methods, some delegations considered that cautious measures should be taken until such time as sufficient information is available for the formulation of a better policy. Two delegations, however, considered that in such circumstances it might be better to adopt a cautious approach as a transitory measure.
46. The provision of financing in small units and at a level appropriate to the small-scale fishing sector was acknowledged to require government infrastructures. These should include the development of extension services, which will also serve to communicate policy decisions to fishermen, as well as providing information on better methods of harvesting. Here, the cooperative concept was felt to be useful in improving productive capacity of the fishermen and facilitating communications and financing arrangements between the Government and industry.
47. The need for central collection of data and their analysis from all fleets fishing a common resource was considered essential for management by the Committee. Jointly-run data centres have been proposed in some areas, to allow cooperative financing of statistical services and as a focus for regional training and standardization of data-gathering for the resources. The advice of FAO was requested to assist in the setting up and running of such bodies, which may eventually come to acquire a more central role in organizing joint scientific work on management of these resources. These bodies may take the form of boards and commissions with agreed, if limited, powers of action. Such bodies can also be the focal point for regional research vessel surveys, tagging campaigns, etc., and for harmonization of national regulations if requested.
48. The representative of IOC said that it was organizing a workshop to optimize the use of research vessels for fisheries research. International bodies like FAO and IOC are working closely together, particularly in the area of marine environmental and resource research, and in reviewing special problems such as the El Nino phenomenon, and they are encouraged to coordinate and use the services and capabilities of existing regional and sub-regional fisheries bodies in accomplishing this task. The Committee felt that these bodies can play an important role in preparing and coordinating attendance at the World Fisheries Conference next year.
49. The usefulness of FAO's regional bodies was endorsed. These can, with appropriate technical support, continue to play a vital role in exchange of information, research and development of the fishing industry, or even in management of existing stocks, especially if shared by several countries. A more direct FAO role in this area was suggested by several countries in which the necessary skills are not yet available, and where the fishery potential may never provide the necessary resources to support an extension in national capability. The problem of funding for such technical support projects which has been developing over the last few financial cycles is the major constraint on the further expansion of these activities.
50. One function proposed for FAO regional projects is an inventory of national and regional skills and facilities as a basis for TCDC programmes between neighbouring countries. This is particularly essential in the present restrictive financial climate in making the best use of regional resources, as well as providing the information and framework needed by donor agencies in project formulation and implementation.
51. Prior to the introduction of this agenda item, a proposal was made that the agenda item should not be examined since it dealt with political and legal rather than purely technical matters. It was also suggested that Document COFI/83/5 should be withdrawn. In the ensuing discussion, there was strong support for retaining the agenda item. Several delegations proposed that document COFI/83/5 should not form the basis for the discussions on this agenda item. Other delegations, however, disagreed. The Chairman ruled that while the agenda item would be discussed, the document would not be introduced.
52. In the ensuing discussions, most delegates stressed the overriding importance of the central concept of the sovereign rights of the coastal State with respect to the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of the living resources of the exclusive economic zone. The institution of exclusive economic zones offered the coastal States increased opportunities for the development of their national fisheries and for deriving full benefits for their peoples. In this context, the Committee emphasized that primary importance should be given to the objective of the development of domestic fisheries and national harvesting capabilities in the zones. Several delegates proposed that the primary role for FAO should be in assisting the developing coastal States in the development of their national capacity through provision of information on resource availability and the development of technology and management capability in general.
53. A number of delegates suggested that the issues 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, including in particular the problems raised by the management and conservation of stocks occurring both within exclusive economic zones and on the high seas outside those zones. A few delegations pointed out that outside the exclusive economic zones, the management of these stocks was subject to the regime of international cooperation envisaged in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in that part of it concerning the conservation of living resources in the high seas and that in accordance with this regime coastal States and all other States have the same right to share in these fisheries. The Committee recommended that the scope of the topic to be submitted to the World Fisheries Conference in 1984 should be broadened accordingly and in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
54. Most delegates felt that the granting of access to foreign fishing fleets to the resources of the exclusive economic zones of coastal States should be viewed as merely a transitory phase. A number of ways in which this phase could be accelerated were suggested, including the promotion of joint ventures, arrangements for the transfer of technology, scientific research training and employment of coastal state nationals on foreign vessels fishing in the exclusive economic zone. Access arrangements should take into account the need to protect national fisheries from the effects of increased competition on the resources. In addition, mention was made of the linkages between access to resources and access to markets. A number of delegates pointed out that in their countries, objectives of national fisheries development would take some time to achieve. In the meantime they had insufficient domestic fishing capacity to take full advantage of the resources of their zones. Their concern was to derive the maximum benefits for their peoples from the exploitation of those resources. In this context they would continue to accept foreign fishing in their zones, and in some cases were looking for longer-term, more stable arrangements with foreign fishing states that would enable the coastal States to derive greater economic benefits and a greater degree of control over the fishing operations. One delegation suggested that there should be an analysis and inventory of existing distant-water fishing fleets that could be made available to those coastal States wishing to grant access to under-exploited stocks in their zones.
55. The Committee agreed on the necessity for the conservation and rational utilization of the fishery resources in the exclusive economic zones. A few delegations noted that there are some cases where foreign fishing fleets have to withdraw from their fishing grounds because of high fishing fees and difficult regulations, and some of these grounds have remained little or non-utilized.
56. One delegation felt that, in some areas, where fishing is close to the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), an increase in the level of foreign fishing will result in a decrease of catch-per-unit effort in the local fishing operating on the same stock. In other, abundant areas, where fishing is in a rudimentary or experimental stage or far from the established TAC, foreign fishing appears to be most advantageous on both biological and economical grounds. Foreign fishing activity will depend on the balancing of economic and social gains against disadvantages considered separately in a given area and during a given period of cooperation.
57. Several countries pointed out that it was not appropriate to include the TAC indicator since it was used in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and was subject to the concept of the optimal use of the living resources of the sea, which is the fundamental guide. They also recalled that the application and determination of the TAC concept in the EEZ is the strict competence of the coastal state concerned, in accordance with the sovereign rights it has in this respect.
58. A number of delegations described the difficulties they faced in managing their new exclusive economic zones caused by the limitation of their national administrative and technical capacities. This made it difficult for them to assess the state of the resources and existing fishing operations in their zones and to control those operations effectively. Several delegations described the difficulties in obtaining data on catches taken within their zones by the vessels of distant-water fishing nations. The Committee stressed the need of developing coastal States for more information on the resources and fishing operations in their zones and adjacent high seas areas, and recommended that FAO should do all it could to increase the flow of information on these matters.
59. The Committee recognized the importance of increased regional cooperation in approaching problems of fisheries management, conservation and exploitation and the control of foreign fishing operations. The Committee also recognized that this cooperation could include the harmonization of fisheries legislation on a regional or subregional basis, and the establishment of regional cooperative mechanisms that would enhance the control of the coastal States over foreign fishing operations at the least administrative cost to all parties involved.
60. It was pointed out that the access of foreign fleets to the exclusive economic zone of a coastal State should necessarily entail cooperation between the parties involved.
61. As one of the techniques for facilitating compliance, many delegations supported the concept of regional registers of foreign fishing vessels. It was noted that such a register has already been established for a large area of the South Pacific and that it is improving the States' ability to ensure compliance. Several delegates from other regions expressed interest in adopting similar registers on a regional or sub-regional basis.
62. Several delegations urged that efforts be made to ensure that flag States accept responsibility for preventing their fishing vessels from infringing the fishery laws of coastal States and noted that this would greatly facilitate the task of ensuring compliance with coastal state requirements. A few delegates from countries with distant-water fishing vessels described the legislative and regulatory steps that they had taken to ensure that their vessels abided by the agreements worked out with the coastal states.
63. It was also noted that coastal States could help ensure flag State action to control their vessels by requiring that access arrangements be made within the context of government to government agreements which include provisions for such responsibility.
64. Some delegations suggested that masters of fishing vessels when breaching fishery laws while operating in foreign coastal States' zones might be required by the flag State to return to the coastal State for trial in the coastal State's courts. Other delegations, however, were not in favour of such a requirement.
65. The need for greater information on conditions of access and on coastal States' legislation covering access was mentioned by numerous delegations. Several pointed out that the discussions on the agenda item were of particular interest to them in enlarging their knowledge of the ways in which other coastal states dealt with the problems of access. Strong support was given for the continuation of FAO's role in collecting and disseminating information on coastal States' requirements and legislation governing access conditions. Some delegations suggested that the dissemination of such information might be facilitated by holding regional and sub-regional seminars. Several delegations referred to the fact that the new international regime for fisheries required them to revise or adopt new legislation. The importance of legislation was noted not only for coastal States in achieving rational use of their EEZs but also for States with distant-water vessels in achieving flag State responsibility. A number of delegations expressed their appreciation for the assistance being provided by FAO in this regard.
66. Several delegations noted that the standardization and greater prominence in the marking of distant-water fishing vessels could, at very small cost, greatly ease the task of compliance. It was suggested that the marking be based on the vessels' radio call signs. This was a matter which could be taken up at the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference and be the subject of a resolution of the Conference.
67. Several delegations felt that observer programmes would be a useful mechanism for ensuring compliance by foreign fishing vessels with their fishery law and access agreements. One delegation explained that the cost of deploying observers could be borne by the foreign vessels involved.
68. Some delegations believed that it was important to stress the spirit of Article 300 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which refers to the good faith in which the States parties should fulfil obligations assumed under the Convention and should exercise the rights, jurisdiction and freedoms recognized in the Convention in a manner which would not constitute an abuse of right.
69. The Committee emphasized that small-scale fisheries was one of the priority areas in the context of fisheries development and management, and that this should be reflected in the Strategy for fishery management and development and the associated action programmes. The World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development presented a timely and valuable opportunity to examine the role and needs of small-scale fisheries and stress their importance in the context of member countries' social and economic development.
70. The Committee noted that in many countries fish landed by small-scale fisheries was the main source of animal protein available to the local population. It also stressed the importance of small-scale fisheries in providing employment.
71. The experience of many countries had been that it was very difficult to reduce the number of active fishermen as a posible means to limit fishing pressure on scarce resources. Reallocation of labour could sometimes be brought about by the provision of employment in processing, marketing, mariculture, or other related ancillary sectors.
72. It was pointed out that although marine capture fisheries were often emphasized in international meetings, production from inland waters was extremely important for many countries. In this connexion it was stressed that increased cooperation in research, management, and development was called for where inland waterways and lakes were shared by several countries.
73. The Committee agreed that an integrated approach was essential for successful sustained small-scale fisheries development and management. This integration should include not only components in the production chain (resource management, capture, processing, transport, marketing, credit, and supply of inputs), but also the social and economic welfare of the small-scale fisherfolk themselves. Expertise on the human, social and socio-economic side was essential and needed to be provided from the beginning of development project to facilitate community participation in planning. It would also help in mobilization of local skills and appropriate involvement of women, in the development process. Non-governmental organizations could contribute effectively and inexpensively to an integrated approach at the village level. It was recognized that sustained improvement in this sector usually required assistance over long periods of time and examples were quoted where this had resulted in notable socio-economic success.
74. With respect to fisheries resources and their management, the Committee pointed out the importance of continuing stock assessment as a base on which to build and revise small-scale fisheries development and management plans. Although important under-utilized stocks still existed in some areas, more commonly there was excessive fishing pressure on limited stocks. Management was needed and it was emphasized that as far as possible regulatory measures needed to be formulated in close consultation with the fishermen, to ensure their implemenation. Lagoons, estuaries, and rivers were often in particular need of protection from both overfishing and pollution. Small-scale fishermen often found themselves in competition with industrialized and medium-scale fishing vessels for the same nearshore resource, and need regulatory protection. Traditional fisheries management systems still existed in many areas, and could sometimes be used as models for other areas. Some countries felt that FAO could assist them in the drafting of management regulations for the protection of small-scale fisheries.
75. The Committee noted that the acquisition of good data bases needed for management remained a problem. The multispecies nature of many fisheries, especially in tropical areas, called for new analytical methods. Technical cooperation and training were required in this respect.
76. The Committee gave special attention to the need for international cooperation in the development of effective fisheries administrations. The need was stressed for training of administrators and organizational/business managers for the small-scale fisheries sector. A lack in such skills was limiting the absorptive capacities of many developing countries. This training was particularly urgent for small island states, and the suggestion was made that regional training programmes and regional pooling of high level expertise with FAO assistance could accelerate improvements.
77. The problems posed by the physical requirements of many small-scale fisheries lead to a continuing need for work on the improvement and adaptation of vessels and gear to meet changing conditions. Maximum use should be made of locally available materials and sources of energy. The useful work already undertaken by FAO and other bodies in this respect was noted and it was suggested that further regional training courses in boat construction and operation should be organized with the assistance of FAO and other international agencies.
78. The Committee emphasized the importance of improved methods of fish handling, processing, transport and marketing in small-scale fisheries in order to reduce post-harvest losses. Some fisheries do not develop because of the lack of adequate transportation and distribution networks. The assistance of FAO in helping to set up effective and well-organized marketing systems was requested. Increased assistance in these aspects was one of the most important possibilities to increase food fish supplies for the benefit of rural and coastal populations.
79. The lack of adequate financing and credit lines posed strong limitations for improving the lot of small fishermen. Various schemes have been used to assist the small-scale fishermen outside the traditional forms of credit, including subsidising boats, equipment and fuel, the provision of loans through rural banks and fishermen's cooperatives, as well as exemption from import duties and taxes. The lack of foreign exchange needed to import spare parts, materials and fuel was a problem affecting the small-scale operator severely.
80. The assistance and support that governments of interested countries could give to small-scale fisheries was considered to be essential. In addition to support through resource management, subsidies, and credit, governments needed to provide technical assistance, training, market regulation and land-based infrastructure. In this context, a number of delegations reported the establishment of community fisheries centres designed to provide technical support and production inputs to surrounding fishing communities.
81. The Committee noted the importance of fishermen's organizations in the development context. Cooperatives had not always been successful but were indicated by many delegations as possible organizational structures getting substantial government support. Many experiments with other types of fishermen's organizations were being attempted, ranging from “fisheries extension service societies” to state enterprises for small-scale fisheries. It was often difficulty to convince small-scale fishermen to collectivize and there was a clear need for strong, effective guidance and training in support of fishermen's organizations, and for full participation of fishermen and women in their own organization.
82. The Committee considered fisheries extension services to be among the weakest links in the existing small-scale fisheries development structure. Many extension services lacked a systematic approach and organizational framework, as well as good, well-trained supervisors, and expert extension agents willing to live and work at the village level. Extension services were often not well integrated into small-scale fisheries development plans. Assistance was needed for the training of new extension agents and the upgrading of those already in the field.
83. The Committee pointed out that training was an essential ingredient for improving all aspects of small-scale fisheries. Although the training of small-scale fisherfolk themselves must necessarily be a national concern, there was wide scope for international cooperation in the training of fisheries officers, technical specialists, and administrators at all levels. Extensive TCDC exchange of experts, the use of specialists from the region as regional workshop instructors, and the use of regional technical centres for the training of high level specialists should be further developed. It was important to ensure that the trained people were utilized properly and provided with the essential tools to put their training to good use.
84. The often slow delivery of project inputs by international funding and executing agencies after signing the relevant agreement was commented upon. The Committee recommended that ways be found to speed up the delivery of projects. Also, when possible, other ways such as the establishment of regional or sub-regional funds for the development of small-scale fisheries should be taken into consideration.
85. The Committee felt that FAO had an important role to play in assisting Member Countries with the development and management of their small-scale fisheries. FAO's involvement should include a catalytic, advisory, training, and demonstration role in all aspects of small-scale fisheries. Particular attention was drawn to the need for assistance in project planning and the coordination of regional groups.
86. The agenda item was opened by an introduction of Document COFI/83/7. The Committee considered generally that the document provided a useful basis for discussion. However some delegations expressed concern about a few specific points. It was felt that it was inappropriate to refer to the problems associated with the setting of baselines for the delimitation of economic zones. It was also suggested that discussion of groups of small developing island States should not be limited to a few regions but should be broadened to include all small developing island States throughout the world.
87. The Committee recognized the special problems of small developing island States, including the scarcity of trained manpower; the difficulties of obtaining resource information; the isolation and need for regional approaches; the lack of infrastructure and consequent difficulties of developing their own fishery industries; and the problems of communication and transportation.
88. Several delegations from developing island States emphasized the need for training, particularly with regard to the strengthening of institutions for the management and development of their EEZs. Reference was made to the need for coordinating the foreign aid so as to achieve an integrated and coordinated approach to development and management. Some delegations requested training in the development of new fishing techniques to suit their particular situations. A suggestion was made that training could be facilitated by the exchange of information among different island groups.
89. The benefits of regional cooperation among small developing island States were emphasized by many delegations. Economies of scale could be achieved by such cooperation in a variety of matters, including research and monitoring, control and surveillance. The benefits of such cooperation in the South Pacific region were noted and other regional groupings of States expressed strong interest in the possibilities of following similar approaches.
90. The Committee generally stressed the need for improved information on the resources and on their evaluation. Particular reference was made to the need for the development of stock assessment models relevant to the special conditions of coral atolls.
91. Harmonization of legislation was mentioned as an area of particular interest. Several delegations expressed gratitude to FAO for the help their countries had received in the drafting of legislation for the use of their resources in their EEZs. There was general agreement that this kind of assistance was particularly valuable and should be continued.
92. Most of the delegations indicated that their long-term objective was to develop their own capacity to harvest, process and market the fishery resources, particularly the tunas, in their EEZs. They felt that, in the interim, they could achieve large benefits by permitting foreign fishing in their zones. It was suggested that FAO could play a useful role in examining alternative ways in which the island States could obtain benefits from foreign fishing.
93. The need for assistance in the development of their own fisheries was stressed. Several kinds of assistance were specified - aid in baitfish culture; improvements in fish aggregation devices; optimum size and type of tuna vessels; processing; market information and improved access to markets; new fishing techniques suitable for small-scale fisheries; and others.
94. Gratitude was expressed to FAO for the special attention being given to the problems of small developing island States and for the relevant activities of the EEZ Programme. It was suggested that FAO might give increased attention in its Regular Programme to the areas of particular relevance to the small developing island States and it was agreed that treatment of their special problems should be appropriately reflected in the Strategy and the Action Programmes to be submitted to the World Fisheries Conference.
95. The topics of inland fisheries and aquaculture were reviewed on the basis of document COFI/83/8. The twin subjects considered under this agenda item were felt to be sufficiently different as to merit separate treatment. Although in some regions capture and culture practices overlap and obscure any distinction between them, inland fisheries were more generally taken by the meeting to deal only with those capture activities conducted in inland waters, whereas aquaculture included all forms of artificial rearing of fish in both inland and marine waters.
96. The significance of freshwater fish as an element in the diet of many countries was widely recognized. This source of protein is particularly significant for the poorer elements of the community and in those areas furthest from the sea such as landlocked states or in countries whose marine resources are poor. In view of this importance the Committee emphasized that the final policy phase of World Fisheries Conference should devote special attention to the role of inland fisheries.
97. In discussing the problems of the development and management of inland capture fisheries, delegates considered that these were so similar to those of small-scale marine fisheries discussed under agenda item 4(d) that they did not warrant further exploration here. However a number of aspects peculiar to inland fisheries remained to be discussed.
98. A problem experienced by most countries lies in the use of the inland waters for a number of purposes other than fisheries. Many of these actively reduce fish stocks through pollution or environmental degradation although this is not always the case, as instances were cited, such as rice fields or reservoirs where human interventions also increase the capacity for fish production either by capture or culture. Because fisheries is only one use amongst many in such circumstances it was strongly felt that fisheries planners should participate actively at the national and international level in the decision making for integrated basin development to ensure that adequate water quantity and quality are maintained for fisheries.
99. In the opinion of the Committee the particular problems of waters bordering two or more countries, which include migratory stocks and the transfer of adverse environmental impacts downstream should be approached by international basin groups which could operate under the aegis of the appropriate regional fishery bodies. The regional fishery bodies were also felt to be the appropriate mechanisms for cooperation in the development and management of inland waters bordering two or more countries, particular emphasis being placed on the use of such mechanisms for the research and management of the fisheries of the African great lakes by the riparian countries.
100. Concern was expressed as to the impacts of introduced species on the ecology of native species; however, several examples were cited where valuable capture fisheries have been based on new species introduced into the waters of some countries. Furthermore current aquaculture practice is based on relatively few species which have been widely transplated outside their native ranges. Efforts by FAO to encourage a cautious approach to further introductions were supported.
101. The expansion of exploitation and the protection of inland fish stocks is limited in many member countries by the lack of surveys and suitable models for the assessment of their stocks and for their management. FAO was requested to continue its assistance to member countries in these activities through its regular programme and, where funds are available, through its field programme. Particular areas where such techniques were felt to be lacking were in the assessment and management of stocks of anadromous species, resources of rivers, coastal lagoons and newly created reservoirs.
102. As in other sectors the lack of trained manpower to research and manage inland fisheries is apparent in many countries. FAO was requested to expand, where possible, its training activities in these topics at the levels of the fisheries extension workers, the scientists and administrators and at the level of those higher officials engaged in planning the allocation of the aquatic resource. Direct activities should be supplemented by exchange of experience and expertise among countries through TCDC.
103. Most of the delegations stressed the importance of aquaculture for a great number of reasons which varied from one particular country to another. In landlocked countries in particular, the emphasis was given to aquaculture as a ready source of food both in rural and urban areas as well as a source of employment, income and foreign exchange. It was also pointed out that being flexible in its form and scale of production, aquaculture was most adaptable to the rural farmers. The role that can be played by women in this activity was also underlined and it was noted that involvement of women in aquaculture results in diverting more fish to family consumption. Finally, the value of aquaculture production to supplement the depleted fresh water and marine stocks was emphasized by several delegates.
104. Many constraints still exist for the development of aquaculture and these were stressed by the delegates. Pollution threatens the quality of water supplies. In the developing countries there is a general shortage of the major inputs such as seeds and feeds. Because of the relatively recent development of aquaculture, major technological constraints still exist such as the control of the full life-cycle of many of the cultivated organisms and demonstrations of the economic viability of the known cultural systems. There is a lack of trained personnel at all levels. In most countries financial constraints also constitute a significant handicap, both at the government level for supporting aquaculture development adequately and at the private level for generating investments in this sector.
105. The Committee agreed that aquaculture deserves much more attention than it now receives from many government planning units and donor agencies. The World Fisheries Conference should play an important role in furthering the development of aquaculture by calling on governments to embark, if they have not yet done so, on a high-level analysis of the significance of aquaculture development in their own country, followed by the formulation of an aquaculture policy and plans for implementing this policy.
106. The Committee underlined the need to integrate aquaculture into rural development programmes, involving the target groups as well as the necessary variety of expertise in the planning of such programmes.
107. The need for further technical and financial assistance aimed at the development of aquaculture through research, training, and demonstrations was brought forward by most delegations. The Committee recommended that the World Fisheries Conference make a special plea to donor groups and international agencies to increase their support, working more intimately and thoroughly with governments of developing countries in identifying projects or programmes consistent with their policies and which can reasonably be expected to be continued long enough to achieve their expected objectives.
108. In this connexion the quality of the assistance provided by FAO in the field of aquaculture was praised by several countries. Efforts to disseminate information and to organize training were particularly appreciated. The establishment of the global network of regional training and research aquaculture centres was considered as a major achievement, to be strengthened in the future by the creation of new centres and by linking them with national centres. There was a general agreement that long-term financial and other arrangements should be found for ensuring the continuity of these networks. The wish was also expressed that more priority be given within FAO itself to aquaculture, giving particular emphasis to development of small scale units.
109. The Committee endorsed the aquaculture development strategy adopted at the Conference held in Kyoto and suggested that it should become part of the proposed Strategy for fisheries management and development to be considered by the policy phase of the World Fisheries Conference. Appreciating the great untapped potential of aquaculture in tanks, lakes and coastal areas, the Committee recommended that an International Year for Aquaculture be observed in the near future to focus attention on the need for experimental research; on starting pilot and definitive projects in countries; on exchange of information relating to aquaculture and on increased flow of credit for international financing bodies to raise production.
110. The item was discussed on the basis of documents COFI/83/9 and COFI/83/Inf.5, which referred to the present structure of international trade, principal commodities, major problems and possible actions to reduce their negative impact on trade. The Committee considered that various measures suggested for improving the participation and performance of developing countries in international trade were in line with the recommendations and decisions of several international conferences, e.g., the Panama Declaration of the Action Committee on Marine and Freshwater Products of the Latin American Economic System (SELA) of 1983, the Caracas Action Programme on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries of 1981 and the Montevideo Treaty Establishing the Latin American Association for Integration (ALADI) of 1980.
111. In view of the importance which the World Fisheries Conference is expected to attach to the aspects of international trade, the suggestion was made that studies on the following subjects could serve as background material for the preparation of the relevant documentation: possibilities to improve the structure of international trade in fish and fishery products; development in the terms of trade for fishery products; financial situation of the world's fishing industry; barter trade possibilities and fish export promotion, taking into account the interests and requirements of developing countries exporters of fishery products; and arrangements for financing exports.
112. FAO was requested to review specific trade barriers, both direct and indirect, and to elaborate proposals on how these could be overcome.
113. One of the principal problems in trade was the difficulty for some developing industries to achieve consistent and precisely defined grades of quality. However, there were encouraging examples of industry attaining this goal and it was noted that there are frequent cases where importers or organizations in developed countries offer technical cooperation and training to their suppliers in the developing world. Various delegations expressed their willingness to continue and expand the technical cooperation that their countries offer in this field.
114. The development of criteria for fair trade, including the harmonization of inspection procedures and regulations, and the provision of technical advice on fish handling and processing were considered a priority area for FAO activities in fish trade development.
115. There was unanimous agreement that international trade in fishery products offered a great potential for technical and economic cooperation among developing countries, as well as between developing countries and industrialized countries. Of particular importance in this respect were the regional fish marketing information services established by FAO. Countries in the Asian/Pacific and Latin American regions acknowledged the value of the existing services. There was agreement that these services should be maintained and extended. Efforts should be made to establish similar services for Africa and the Arab countries as soon as possible. The regional marketing information services were considered a suitable means to foster regional collaboration in fish trade matters; global coordination between the regional systems would be provided by FAO. The proposed system of international fish market indicators was regarded as extremely useful for enhancing an orderly flow of fish products in international markets.
116. Taking into account the particular nature of fish and fishery products, FAO activities related to trade promotion should be coordinated with interested regional and international organizations such as United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), International Trade Centre (ITC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Action Committee on Marine and Freshwater Products of the Latin American Economic System (SELA), South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (SPFFA), and the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI).
117. The present level of intra-regional trade in fish was generally considered too low and there was agreement that serious efforts should be made to foster trade amongst and within the regions. For the promotion of intra-regional trade the information and advisory function of the regional services will be of particular importance.
118. Delegations brought to the fore a number of factors hampering exports in their respective countries. Compliance with quality requirements seemed to be a particularly prominent one. Other factors mentioned were financing of exports and temporary adverse market conditions. The need to diversify exports both with regard to products and markets was generally recognized, as well as the need for access to markets, giving them a greater transparency. Some delegations pointed to the link between access to resources and access to market. Many delegations recognized the need for endeavouring to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers which hamper international trade in fish products and the exports of developing countries. Some delegations emphasized the need for other trade barriers to be eliminated when they are applied as sanctions for the exercise of their sovereign rights over the resources of their EEZ, as recognized by international law. Some delegations felt that FAO should not duplicate the work on tariff barriers already the object of consideration by other bodies.
119. One delegation mentioned that, as a consequence of recent changes in the Law of the Sea, competitive conditions between developed states were already affected. Unilateral market concession could have further implications in this respect among those countries.
120. It was recognized that the main problem in the promotion of international trade in fishery products lay in the existence of an importing market extremely concentrated as regards both number of countries and value of imports.
121. There was a consensus that a multilateral framework for consultations on fish trade matters based on regional arrangements would be very valuable. Several delegations indicated that the establishment of an intergovernmental group on fishery products at global level would require further study. The Secretariat was requested to have this matter analysed by an ad hoc group of specialists. The study could include consideration of such an intergovernmental group acting as an international commodity body within the framework of the UNCTAD Common Fund of Commodities while avoiding any duplication with intergovernmental bodies. It was understood that it might still take some time for the Fund to become operational. The Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare for the World Fisheries Conference a document on the possible terms of reference and financial and other implications of an inter-governmental group.
122. The observers from GATT and OECD gave an account of the work presently being undertaken by their organizations in the area of international fish trade.
123. Some delegations considered that it was advisable to use regional preferences among developing countries at intra- and inter-regional level to promote trade in fishery products. In accordance with some current regional experiences, mention was made of the agreements by fishery products or groups of products through actions of global or partial scope used within the framework of ALADI.
124. The Committee examined, on the basis of document COFI/83/10, the present and future needs for cooperation between countries in fisheries research, management and development. It reviewed recent experiences with existing mechanisms for such cooperation and considered the action required by governments, FAO and other international organizations to promote further international cooperation in fisheries.
125. In this respect, the Committee noted that one of the major objectives of the FAO World Fisheries Conference was to promote international cooperation in fisheries between developing and developed countries and among developing countries themselves, so as to improve the self-reliance of developing countries in managing and developing their fisheries.
126. The Committee recognized that, as a result of the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea, decisions regarding the exploitation, management and use of the fish resources in exclusive economic zones are the consequence of the sovereign rights of the respective coastal States. The Committee agreed that the introduction of the new regime, together with the growing complexity of fishery problems and questions such as the management of shared stocks, highly migratory species, which should be solved in accordance with articles 63, 64 and other relevant provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, has increased the importance of international cooperation in fisheries matters.
127. The Committee observed that, although research into the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of fisheries is necessary for sustained fisheries development and rational management, such activities are often extremely costly and a heavy burden on individual countries. Costs can, however, be spread and duplication avoided through international cooperation in fisheries research of all kinds. The Committee emphasized that such research should be practical and in support of management and development objectives; the fullest possible use of existing facilities should be made, especially on a regional and sub-regional basis. Research efforts and technical cooperation programmes should have clearly identified objectives, be given carefully evaluated priorities and be fully integrated with overall national fisheries management and development aims.
128. The Committee drew particular attention to the importance of the sharing of information and data, and to the benefits from the establishment of common services for the collection, analysis, retrieval and dissemination of such information. In this connexion, it noted the proven value of such world-wide services as the Aquatic Sciences Fisheries Information Systems (ASFIS), compiled jointly by FAO and other international and national agencies, and to regional arrangements with respect to trade information, such as INFOFISH and INFOPESCA.
129. The Committee expressed its appreciation of the efforts already made by FAO to promote international collaboration, in particular the network of regional fishery bodies established within the framework of FAO. Such regional fishery bodies and their sub-regional committees, supported by associated field programmes, provided a unique mechanism for inter-country cooperation and for the delivery of technical assistance. Great importance was attached to the maintenance of this role by FAO which was now an integral part of the Organization's work of assisting developing countries to benefit more fully from their fishery resources. Through its network of regional bodies, FAO was in a good position to assist in the transfer of knowledge and information from one region to another.
130. The Committee called upon UNDP and other development aid agencies to give the highest priority to support for such mechanisms for technical cooperation and requested FAO to continue its efforts to mobilize from all possible sources the financial and other forms of external support required to maintain the Organization's activities in this respect. At the same time, it was recognized that developing countries themselves as appropriate should in the long term also contribute even more to the cause of international cooperation by increasing their own participation in and commitment to technical support to such regional bodies.
131. Adequate administrative servicing and technical backstopping are essential for the effective running of regional bodies. The Committee welcomed the efforts being made by FAO, within existing financial constraints, to provide such support.
132. The Committee noted the steps taken by FAO to establish a Regional Project for the Development and Management of Fisheries in the Mediterranean to complement and strengthen the activities of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (GFCM), enlarging its statutory responsibilities. It further noted with satisfaction the interest expressed by the EEC to support this project.
133. The Committee also expressed its appreciation for the assistance provided to many developing coastal states in the better assessment of their fish stocks through the work of the research vessel DR. FRIDTJOF NANSEN, operated under a joint Norway/FAO/UNDP programme and expressed the strong hope that the UNDP would find it possible to continue financial support to this valuable activity. The Committee also noted with favour the study being undertaken by FAO and UNDP of a proposal for the cooperative use of other vessels for fishery research, development and training.
134. A number of delegations, noting the special problems of landlocked states and others without access to substantial marine resources, called for further steps to encourage cooperation in research and other aspects of inland water fisheries and aquaculture. In this respect, the Committee welcomed the progress already made to this end by the FAO/UNDP Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme (ADCP) and by such organizations as the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM).
135. The Committee reaffirmed the importance of regional cooperation and in this respect the Committee also noted the valuable contributions being made to promote international or regional collaboration by a number of other inter-governmental bodies concerned with fisheries, and both within and outside the UN system. Particular reference was made to the SELA Action Committee on Marine and Freshwater Products, Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (PCSP) and Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). The Committee re-affirmed the importance it had already attached in this respect to the Declaration and proposals for collaboration made at the recent meeting in Panama of the Council of Fishery Ministers of SELA member countries. It also called upon FAO to continue and strengthen its already well-established cooperation with all international agencies concerned with fisheries in matters of mutual interest for the benefit of their member nations.
136. The Committee noted the growing interest being taken by regional economic groupings in fishery matters, such as the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and EEC, and requested FAO to strengthen the links between these bodies and FAO regional bodies and projects.
137. The representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) re-affirmed the intention of his organization to continue, within the constraints of its resources, its traditional involvement in collaborating in the fisheries management and development. He suggested that the present reduction in funds available for fisheries development projects due to major shortfalls in contributions by donors to planned resources of the UNDP is also to some extent linked with the readiness of coastal states to give high priority to fisheries projects.
138. The representative of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the Law of the Sea reviewed the responsibilities of the Secretary General provided for in the Convention on the Law of the Sea with respect to the implementation and assured FAO of maximum support for the final preparation of the World Fisheries Conference.
139. The representative of the International Labour Organization noted the complementarity of the interests of his organization with those of FAO in fisheries, reviewed the tradition of collaboration between ILO, FAO and IMO in such aspects as training and standards and re-affirmed his organization's willingness to continue its cooperation with FAO in the preparations for the World Fisheries Conference and in the implementation of its recommendations.
140. The representative of the World Bank indicated that his institution has recently approved and published a fisheries sector policy paper as a guide to its staff and its borrowers. He noted that there was evidence that external aid could be used more effectively and that, in particular, there is a need for greater coordination of strategies and resources. The Bank stands ready to provide assistance to the third world nations wishing to develop their fisheries. It would also support any valuable initiative leading to a better Agency coordination. It would wish to make the fullest use of the FAO Fisheries Department competence for this purpose.
141. The representative of the Inter-American Development Bank viewed his organization's collaboration with a wide variety of other banks, donor agencies, UN agencies and nations and drew particular attention to the successes experienced with a system of simple, direct small loans to assist the development of fisheries.
142. The representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) noted his organization's flexible approach to its lending policies and assured the Committee of IFAD's willingness to continue its support, whenever feasible and in close cooperation with other agencies, for small-scale fisheries development.
143. The representative of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) described the well-established cooperation between his organization and FAO and made particular reference to the valuable role in this and other respects by the Advisory Committee of Experts on Marine Resources Research (ACMRR). He looked forward to a further strengthening of this cooperation, through both global and regional programmes of mutual interest, and in such matters as information and data systems and in the preparation of guidelines for the use of research vessels. He assured FAO of the continuing, close collaboration of IOC in the preparations for the World Fisheries Conference and in the follow-up to its recommendations.
144. The representative of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (PCSP) noted the Commission's close cooperation with FAO and other concerned organizations and suggested that the time was now appropriate for the establishment of a formal agreement between FAO and PCSP to strengthen further their valuable cooperation.
145. The representative of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) described his Center's activities, especially in training, aquaculture, and post-harvest technology and assured FAO of its continued collaboration to help promote fisheries management and development in Southeast Asia.
146. The representative of the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources (ICLARM) noted his organization's independence and flexibility and invited collaboration in its work in such matters as the aquaculture of low price species, assessment of tropical fish stocks and the socio-economic aspects of small-scale fisheries.
147. The representative of the International Association of Fish Meal Manufacturers described his Association's long tradition of collaboration with FAO and mentioned that IAFMM has set up a Committee with the intention of promoting low cost use of industrial pelagic fish species for human consumption.