36. Dr Andrew Smith, Fishery Industries Officer, Fisheries Department, FAO, Rome, Italy, made a presentation entitled "The 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries: Article 8 - Fishing Operations". He stated that article 8 of the Code was probably the most important of all the articles, noting that if there were no fishing operations there would be no need for the other articles of the Code. It was explained that article 8 commenced by listing the general duties of all States irrespective of whether fishing was important to their economies or not. It was pointed out that even land-locked States could be involved indirectly in fishing and that the occurrence of IUU fishing was sometimes assisted by a lack of responsible behaviour by countries that were indirectly involved in fishing activities (i.e., by registering fishing vessels and then not exercising effective flag State control over them). A copy of the paper on which the presentation was based is attached as Appendix J.
37. The Workshop expressed interest in the development and costs of a new satellite surveillance method, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and in the opportunities that this new system would provide. This system is currently being trialed by the European Union (EU). Dr Smith responded that while costs for this system were high, research into improvements was on-going. The EU expected the system to be operational in 2004. He also noted that it was useful to consider the cost of traditional methods of aerial and surface surveillance in comparison to this new development and its additional features.
38. The Workshop took note of the principles in the Code relating to fishing gear selectivity and some participants identified the current concern in the Pacific Islands with respect to the take of small fish in tuna purse seine fisheries. The Workshop was advised that by-catch reduction devices were available for other fisheries such as trawl fisheries. It was also noted that some work had already been done involving the insertion of grids in purse seine nets but that these devices were operationally cumbersome. It was pointed out that the schooling behaviour of pelagic species presented challenges for developing appropriate by-catch devices. The issue of discards and the take of sharks in some fisheries was also raised by participants. In response, Dr Smith stated that many countries had made the capture of shark illegal or had in place regulatory measures to ensure the landing of both fins and carcasses.
39. With respect to IUU fishing in the Pacific Islands, it was noted that this is a matter of ongoing concern. The Workshop welcomed the IPOA-IUU and its associated Technical Guideline as a means of trying to address IUU fishing. Participants agreed that monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) played an important role in combating IUU fishing, but that the financial constraints of MCS in the Pacific Islands was an important consideration.
40. Some participants informed the Workshop that progress was being made towards implementing national anti-pollution legislation based on regional coordinated templates and in line with the MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships as identified in the Code but that in some instances no reference was made to discards by fishing vessels.
41. On a related matter, Dr Smith encouraged Pacific Island countries to implement requirements relating to the marking of fishing gear and to prohibit the dumping of gear at sea, while recognizing that some latitude was required in cases of accidental loss of gear.
42. The Workshop agreed that greater national awareness and coordination was required with respect to cross cutting legislation that was relevant to responsible fisheries.