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8. Mr. J-F. Pulvenis de Séligny, the Director of Fisheries Policy and Planning Division of the Fisheries Department welcomed the participants on behalf of Mr. I. Nomura, Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries Department and opened the Expert Consultation on Catalysing the Transition away from Overcapacity in Marine Capture Fisheries.

9. In his opening remarks, Mr. Pulvenis de Séligny noted that overcapacity in marine capture fisheries is a very important yet complex problem. He remarked part of this complexity is due to the fact that the resolution of overcapacity has significant social, economic, and political consequences for the stakeholders in each country.

10. He noted that while the best intentions at national and international levels in developing the International Plan of Action on Capacity Management demonstrated a shared will to tackle and address a significant fisheries problem, concrete and practical implementation of the IPOA and the adoption of specific capacity reduction programs has proved to be much more difficult.

11. He urged the participants to consider the Expert Consultation as a collegial session and to work together to determine the steps that would assist fisheries managers everywhere to reduce capacity in fisheries and, most importantly, to provide ideas for solutions so that the existing tools could be implemented successfully.

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