The International Workshop on the Implementation of International Fisheries Instruments and Factors of Unsustainability and Overexploitation in Fisheries was held from 3 to 7 February 2003 in Mauritius. The workshop was organized in the context of an FAO trust fund project (Project GCP/INT/788/JPN: Factors of Unsustainability and Overexploitation in Fisheries). It was hosted by the Government of Mauritius.
The workshop was attended by 31 experts, in their personal capacity, from 23 countries representing a wide range of disciplines and experience. Two observers and members of the FAO Secretariat also attended. A list of participants appears in Annex 1.
The Technical Secretary of the Workshop, Mr Dominique Gréboval, welcomed participants in the name of the Assistant Director General of FAO for Fisheries, Mr Ichiro Nomura, and thanked the Government of Mauritius for hosting the Workshop. He recalled that the objective of the Workshop, building on the results of a workshop held in Bangkok in 2002, is to identify factors of unsustainability and overexploitation in fisheries and review major issues in the implementation of international fisheries instruments. He noted that the Workshop will refer closely to the six major factors of unsustainability identified in the Bangkok Workshop, but will aim more specifically at answering three major questions, based on case studies to be presented:
What are the major obstacles to the implementation of major legal instruments?
What are the main lessons learned and the possible paths to solutions for improved implementation?
What are the possible gaps that may exist in these instruments to guide the international community in improving the management of marine fisheries?
He also stated that related work will be pursued in 2003, and that the final aim of the project is the organization in 2004 of a major international conference on factors of unsustainability and the effective implementation of international fisheries management instruments.
The Workshop was opened by Hon. Sylvio Louis Michel, Minister of Fisheries of the Government of Mauritius. He recalled that fisheries overexploitation and unsustainability have been a major concern for fisheries managers and policy makers for at least half a century, and referred to the international instruments that have been developed to address the concerns. The Minister noted that while some States have made considerable progress in implementing the instruments, others are still facing difficulties in the identification of factors contributing to fisheries overexploitation and unsustainability, thus leading to problems in implementation. He identified illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as a major problem of unsustainability, and described how it has become a delicate balancing act, in respect of coastal near shore resources, to ensure the livelihood of the many artisanal fishers. He noted the progress made by Mauritius in relation to these issues.
Mr Rognvaldur Hannesson was acclaimed as Chair of the Workshop. The agenda adopted by the Workshop appears in Annex 2. The Technical Secretary of the Workshop, Mr Dominique Gréboval, recalled that this workshop would build on the results of the Bangkok Workshop, referring to the factors of sustainability identified at that workshop: inappropriate incentives; high demand for limited resources; poverty and lack of alternatives; complexity and lack of knowledge; lack of governance; interactions of the fishery sector with other sectors and the environment. An Analytic Summary of the Bangkok Workshop appears in Annex 3, including a full description of these factors and paths to solutions.
Mr Gréboval reviewed the framework of the Workshop, stating that 11 case studies would be presented and discussed in plenary, then further examined by one of the following working groups: large volume small pelagics; tuna and tuna-like species; large volume demersals and coastal fisheries.
The case studies were prepared according to an analytical framework that appears in Annex 4. It is based on the factors of unsustainability identified at the Bangkok Workshop, and contains the following key questions to be used as a framework for the paper.
Is fishery management achieving the four components of sustainability: bio-ecological, economic, social and institutional?
Why is fishery management successful or not?
Paths to solutions - how can difficulties and obstacles be overcome?
The Chair invited participants who had prepared discussion papers to present them to plenary, and presided over brief discussions subsequent to each presentation. A fuller discussion of the issues raised in the papers took place in the relevant working group.
A summary of each discussion paper follows below in section 2 of this Part. The conclusions of the Workshop, reached after discussion in working groups and review by plenary, are in section 3 of this Part.