1. The FAO Ad Hoc Expert Advisory Panel for the Assessment of Proposals to Amend Appendices I and II of CITES Concerning Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species was held in response to the agreement by the Twenty-fifth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) on the Terms of Reference for an ad hoc expert advisory panel for assessment of proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the agreement at the ninth session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (Bremen, Germany, February 2004) that FAO should convene such a panel to review any proposals to the thirteenth Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP-13) for listing or delisting commercially-exploited species in time to be considered at that meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
2. The terms of reference agreed to at the twenty-fifth session of COFI are attached to this report as Appendix D. In accordance with those terms of reference, the Panel was established by the FAO Secretariat, according to its standard rules and procedures and observing the principle of equitable geographical representation, drawing from a roster of recognized experts. The task of the Panel was to:
- assess each proposal from a scientific perspective in accordance with the CITES biological listing criteria, taking account of the recommendations on the criteria made to CITES by FAO;
- comment, as appropriate, on technical aspects of the proposal in relation to biology, ecology, trade and management issues, as well as, to the extent possible, the likely effectiveness for conservation.