11. Dr Doulman commenced his presentation by stating that the IPOA-IUU had been concluded within the framework of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. He provided information relating to the Code of Conduct in terms of its background; process of elaboration; purpose and objectives; and structure and implementation. He pointed out that the effective implementation of the Code of Conduct provided a challenge for countries in their efforts to devise appropriate fisheries policies and measures that would promote adjustment in the fisheries sector so that responsible and long-term sustainability outcomes would be achieved.
12. The presentation relating to the IPOA-IUU provided information about the extent, scope and impact of IUU fishing; the international responses to IUU fishing at the global, regional and national levels; the elaboration process within FAO for the IPOA-IUU; the structure and contents of the IPOA-IUU, including the challenges to be met by regional fishery management organizations or arrangements (RFMOs) if their conservation and management effort were to be successful. Dr Doulman noted that IUU fishing flourished principally because some countries failed to meet their obligations under international law with respect to effective flag State control. For this reason, countries and RFMOs were required to look beyond conventional solutions and adopt and implement a wider and more innovative suite of measures to combat IUU fishing. This was one of the fundamental reasons why FAO had agreed to elaborate the IPOA-IUU. He indicated that the IPOA-IUU had the potential to contribute to long-term sustainable fisheries. When reinforced and supported by other national and international fisheries instruments, the IPOA-IUU could marshal and facilitate cooperative and targeted action against the root cause of IUU fishing. The paper upon which the presentation was based is attached as Appendix E.
13. Some participants noted that although they had been aware of the elaboration of the IPOA-IUU, a lack of financial capacity had prevented their countries from participating in the process leading up to the adoption of the IPOA-IUU. Participants agreed that had their countries contributed more fully to the negotiation process they would have felt a greater sense of "ownership" of the IPOA-IUU. Such "ownership" could have expected to engender more enthusiastic involvement in the implementation process.
14. The Workshop noted the voluntary nature of the IPOA-IUU. Some participants queried whether, that in view of the need to address IUU fishing on all fronts if progress was to be made in combating the problem, the IPOA-IUU should not have been concluded as a binding instrument. It was pointed out that although the IPOA-IUU was voluntary, countries after having developed their NPOAs-IUU, should review their fisheries and policy legislation to ensure that it reflected their position on IUU fishing. Participants agreed that it was preferable to have strong and enforceable national legislation rather than a binding international instrument.
15. Many participants noted the important role played by fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) in combating IUU fishing. The importance of vessel monitoring systems (VMS) was also highlighted. It was pointed out that MCS/VMS could be expensive and time-consuming to implement. The role being played by the International MCS Network was discussed and some participants requested further information about the Network. Participants were referred to the Networks webpage (http://imcsnet.org) for further details.
16. Some participants raised the issue of MCS observer programmes and their costs. Several participants advised the Workshop that in their countries the cost of these programmes was borne by industry. The Workshop agreed that it was reasonable to consider observer costs as a fisheries management cost that should not be borne by government. It was noted by some participants that when the cost of observer programmes costs were initially raised with industry, there was opposition to meeting these costs. However, in time this opposition subsided and full cost recovery was now practiced in a number of industrial fisheries in the region.
17. Some participants also pointed out that a recurring problem with observer programmes was unprofessional behaviour on the part of observers. It was suggested that a rigorous training programme and the installation of a strong sense of professionalism could assist in addressing such behaviour. Another means could be to require observers to account for their time on board vessels by completing an activity log on an hourly basis and detailed post-trip report and debriefing. The Workshop was informed that in another region such accounting had proved beneficial in encouraging a strong professional commitment on the part of observers.
18. With respect to MCS observer training, the Workshop was advised that there were good training facilities in the region. It was noted that countries in need of such training could possibly seek assistance under Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries (TCDC) arrangements from the countries with those facilities.
19. The need for regional cooperation if IUU fishing was to be effectively addressed was underscored by many participants. The Workshop noted that it would be relatively futile for one country to adopt stringent port State measures, for example, and for its neighbours not to implement similar types of measures. It was agreed that regional cooperation in the implementation of measures to combat IUU fishing was required if loopholes were to be closed and weak points eliminated.
20. With respect to the management of shared inland fisheries, the Workshop took note that regional cooperation would only be achieved through a formal mechanism. It was noted that such collaboration could also seek to harmonize fisheries regulations and activities in a wide range of areas including IUU fishing. In the absence of such regional cooperation, it was suggested that the Code of Conduct should be used as the yardstick for management and problem-solving (i.e., national actions taken should reflect, and be consistent with, the Code of Conduct). In the cases of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO), it was pointed out that these organizations are, inter alia, promoting cooperation and harmonization through information exchanges and joint MCS arrangements.
21. Some participants noted that a precedent existed for the harmonization of measures in fisheries in the region. This harmonization has been promoted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with the assistance of FAO. SADC has a Fisheries Protocol that provides the overall framework for fisheries cooperation of SADC States. This had been signed by all States but was yet to be ratified. Some participants speculated that there was a lack of political will on the part of some governments to take the necessary steps towards implementation of regional or international instruments. Other participants pointed out that the lack of implementation could be due to technical and financial constraints on the part of Members.
22. The Workshop noted a planned meeting of SADC Fisheries Ministers that would focus on the problems of, and means of addressing, IUU fishing. It was agreed that this meeting would greatly benefit efforts in the region to combat IUU fishing.
23. Some participants spoke of the need for effective coordination at the national level to ensure that IUU fishing was addressed in an expeditious and consistent manner. It was noted, for example, that coordination between the agency responsible for vessel registration and the agency responsible for the issuing of fishing authorizations sometimes led to inconsistent decisions. It was pointed out that the IPOA-IUU encouraged governments to promote effective national coordination in their efforts to combat IUU fishing.
24. The Workshop noted, with some satisfaction, that the IPOA-IUU recognized the special requirement of developing countries and, in particular, the human and institutional capacity constraints they encountered in implementing the IPOA-IUU. The Workshop was encouraged by the activities listed in paragraph 86 of the IPOA-IUU and wished to be further informed of the possibilities of assistance. Some participants noted their lack of technical and financial capacity to undertake fisheries policy reviews to reflect IUU fishing issues in terms of the measures contained in the IPOA-IUU. Participants acknowledged that FAO assistance for such policy reviews would be especially valuable and for the subsequent review of fisheries legislation to reflect the elements included in their NPOAs-IUU.