4. Mr David Balton assumed the Chair for the Consultation in his capacity as a resource person.
5. The Chair pointed out that the international community had been seeking to achieve sustainable fisheries and that its efforts had not been very successful. While there were many reasons for this situation, this meeting had been convened by FAO to look at one aspect of the problem. The Chair expressed the view that the Experts would be able to provide advice and information on the operation of open registries and assist in shaping recommendations. He also underscored that Experts were participating in the Consultation in their personal capacities and expressed the view that Experts should participate openly and freely.