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(Agenda item 1)

1. The Twentieth Session of the Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP) was held at the International Conference Centre, Victoria, Seychelles, from 21 to 24 January 2003. It was hosted by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). Sixteen experts representing the following member organizations participated in CWP-20:

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR);

Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT);

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC);

International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT);

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES);

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO);

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC); and

Statistical Office of the European Communities (EU/Eurostat).

Two experts from the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) participated as nominees of FAO and two national experts from Ghana and Seychelles participated as nominees of FAO and IOTC respectively. An expert from Institut de Recherches pour le Développement (IRD), France also participated as an IOTC nominee. A consultant expert also participated at the invitation of FAO. The list of Participants is given in Appendix 1.

2. The Chairperson of the Nineteenth Session, Mr Tim Lawson of SPC, opened the Twentieth Session and invited Mr David Ardill, Secretary of IOTC, to make an opening statement to the meeting. Mr Ardill welcomed participants to the Seychelles. A particular welcome was extended to SEAFDEC. He outlined the broadening role of the CWP in facilitating and supporting the development of fisheries statistics activities and organizations on a global basis and across the world’s oceans. He emphasized its fundamental role in terms of setting and agreeing standards, nomenclature and dataset harmonization. On invitation, Mr Randolph Payet, General Manager of the Seychelles Fisheries Authority welcomed the CWP to Seychelles and noted its particular importance in the development of common standards, especially for assisting in the sustainable management of fisheries and in enhancing the better management of national fisheries agencies.

3. Eurostat opened discussion of the proposed agenda and noted the importance of CWP in assisting member organizations to develop and maintain socio-economic, environmental and sustainability indicators, and to address the issue of aquaculture terminology. Along with these suggestions, other participants brought additional issues to the attention of the meeting and the agenda was appropriately modified and adopted (Appendix 2), and would include consideration of the results of the workshop addressing FIGIS-FIRMS progress and future which was held at the same venue on 20 January 2003. The documents provided to the session are listed in Appendix 3 and the acronyms used in this report are listed in Appendix 4.

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