|The FAO Aquaculture Newsletter|
April 1998, No. 18
Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service, Fisheries Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, 00100 Italy Tel: 39-6-57054795 Fax: 39-6-57053020. E-mail: Ziad.Shehadeh@fao.org
Experimental rice-fish farming in the Philippines (courtesy of M. Halwart and kind permission of Margraf Verlag, Weikersheim, F.R. Germany)
The FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) is issued three times a year by the Inland
Water Resources and Aquaculture Service, Fishery Resources Division, of FAO's Fisheries
Department, Rome, Italy. It presents articles and views from the FAO aquaculture programme
and discusses various aspects of aquaculture as seen from the perspective of both
Headquarters and the field programme. Articles are contributed by FAO staff from within
and outside the Fisheries Department, from FAO regional offices and field projects, by FAO
consultants and, occasionally, by invitation from other sources. The FAN is distributed
free of charge to various institutions, scientists, planners and managers in Member
Countries and has a current circulation of about 3,000 copies. It is also available on the
FAO internet Home Page: http://www.fao.org./waicent/fishery/
Editorial Board: Jiansan Jia, Mario Pedini, Albert Tacon, Izzat Feidi
Layout and Production: Sylviane Borghesi.
Implementation of the Code of conduct for responsible fisheries:A shared responsibility
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provided the required legal framework for improved fisheries management and UNCED Agenda 21 completed this framework in the area of environmental conservation. FAO fostered their practical implementation through a transparent and participatory process, involving Member Nations and other stakeholders of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, through the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI). The Organization collected the dispersed and closely related provisions related to fisheries and aquaculture into a single and focused practical tool - the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which was adopted by the FAO Council in 1995.
The Code will promote and facilitate sound aquaculture and fisheries management and development and enhance fisheries governance. It will also provide the Fisheries Department with a unique integrated frame, together with the outcome of the World Food Summit, for its programme. At the regional level, fishery bodies have an important role to play in facilitating the implementation of the Code, and for this reason, the draft FAO Strategy to support implementation that will be presented for consideration at the Twenty-third Session of COFI in 1999, underscores the importance of regional action. With respect to national implementation of the Code, governments have been encouraged to work with other stakeholders to facilitate structural adjustments and change in the fisheries sector.
At the Twenty-second Session of COFI in 1997, the Code was addressed as a substantive item. The Committee underlined the need to secure funding to support the implementation of the Code in developing countries, and for monitoring and reporting on its implementation. It also agreed that progress reports should be presented by FAO to the Committee at every session. The reports would address achievements, progress and constraints in implementation. Governments and other stakeholders and interest groups would be requested to provide information to FAO on progress with national implementation through the use of a questionnaire to be developed by the Secretariat. This information would then be incorporated into a consolidated report to the Committee.
The Secretariat has developed and field tested a questionnaire for this purpose. It consists of seven sections, each addressing a specific substantive article of the Code. It aims at obtaining simultaneously, quantitative and qualitative information on key indicators of progress in the implementation of the Code. Information will be solicited both electronically, through E-mail and special web site, and by ordinary mail. Administration of the questionnaire will be undertaken from May through July 1998. FAO has established a site for the Code on the FAO Home Page on the web (http:\\www.fao.org\fi), which is updated regularly, providing information on developments with the Code.
Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Code is a shared responsibility. The co-operation of governments in providing information for the Code web site and in responding to the questionnaire will be highly appreciated.
Benedict P. Satia