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Formation of the Working Groups

53. Five Working Groups were formed to enhance the participatory nature of the Workshop and as a means of generating broader and deeper discussion on the action to be taken to elaborate NPOAs-IUU. The Working Groups were also seen as an important vehicle for generating input from experienced fisheries personnel participating in the Workshop. The Working Groups focused on the process to be followed for the elaboration of NPOAs-IUU. The Working Groups formed were:

54. The composition of each of the Working Groups is attached as Appendix G. The reports of each of the Working Groups are in Appendix H. The Working Groups were requested to identify the Ministries/Departments involved in the elaboration of a NPOA-IUU; what constraints were likely to be faced in the development of a NPOA-IUU; how these constraints might be overcome; how national resources could be mobilized to meet the June 2004 deadline for the elaboration of a NPOA-IUU and what considerations affected the ability of countries to deliver a NPOA by the deadline. In addition, participants outlined the steps to be undertaken in elaborating a NPOA-IUU focusing on major activities, approvals required and possible timeframes.

55. There was a high degree of complementarity in the responses to the questions posed for the Working Groups. The responses indicated that participants had a broad understanding of the issues involved though some Groups showed less depth concerning the steps required for the elaboration of a NPOA-IUU. Significantly, despite fundamental differences, it was apparent that the nature and scope of IUU fishing problems in marine fisheries were similar to those problems encountered in inland fisheries.

56. In discussions about the results in the Workshop, it was evident that many countries were already implementing measures to address IUU fishing even though they did not have explicit NPOAs-IUU in place. Participants noted, for example, that efforts were being undertaken to build awareness about IUU fishing; the need for sustainability in fisheries; implementation of MCS programmes and implementation and strengthening of registration arrangements for vessels. The Workshop recognized the value and importance of drawing together these different measures into a single coherent framework provided by a NPOA-IUU.

57. Some participants reminded the Workshop that a NPOA-IUU was simply a plan of scheduled future actions and that participants should not lose sight of this fact. It was reiterated that a NPOA-IUU provided a suite of forward-looking activities with a proposed timetable for action. The Workshop agreed that it would be very helpful for countries if they could be provided with a model NPOA-IUU based on real conditions in a developing countries. It was noted that FAO in 2004/05 intended to assist several countries elaborate their respective NPOAs-IUU with documented texts as to how these NPOAs were developed and what constraints and difficulties were encountered.

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