9. The delegation of Japan made a presentation concerning the management of tuna fishing capacity and IUU fishing by tuna vessels and pointed out that international efforts to eliminate large-scale tuna longline vessels engaged in IUU fishing had resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of such vessels fishing since 2001. However, the cessation of construction of large-scale tuna longline vessels in Taiwan, Province of China had led to an increase in the construction of large-scale tuna purse seine vessels in that Province. These vessels are destined for operations in the western and central Pacific Ocean. At the same time, international business entities, including trading companies, had played an important role in encouraging vessel owners to expand their fleet. Many of the new purse seine vessels had been flagged in developing countries that have open registries. The delegation noted that the uncontrolled expansion of fishing capacity in the tuna fishery in the western and central Pacific was impeding the successful implementation of the IPOA-capacity and the IPOA-IUU. Several actions to address this situation were proposed by the delegation of Japan. The Consultation agreed that these actions would be addressed under Agenda Item 8.
10. Delegations took note with concern the information provided by Japan. It was pointed out that the tuna fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean was in a critical state because of fishing capacity expansion and IUU fishing. One delegation cautioned against generalizations with regard to reduction of tuna fishing capacity stating that some species of tuna were considered to be underutilized. It also pointed out that it would be imprudent to seek agreement on general restrictions that would be applied to all tuna fisheries.
11. In addressing fishing capacity and IUU fishing, the Consultation agreed that other components of fisheries management should be considered. In particular, it was noted that fishing capacity and flags of convenience vessels are only some of the causes of IUU fishing. The Consultation also noted the lack of complete data and information on the state of IUU fishing and capacity. A holistic approach was essential to ensure that progress was made on all fronts. The Consultation reiterated that capacity control and combating IUU fishing are the responsibility for all governments and stakeholders irrespective of whether countries are developing or developed countries.
12. The Consultation noted the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Workshop on IUU Fishing Activities that was held at OECD Headquarters in Paris, France, from 19 to 20 April 2004. The attention of the Consultation was drawn to the key observations and findings of the Workshop. The key observations addressed the state of play on IUU fishing, information and data needs, economic and social drivers and possible actions by flag States, port States, coastal States and international trade responses. It also addressed actions related to regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), international coordination and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the private sector.
13. The Consultation further noted with satisfaction the activities of the FAO Project on the Management of Tuna Fishing Capacity referred to in Document TC IUU-CAP/2004/Inf.7. The project, which involves relevant RFMOs, has so far undertaken a global review of the economic importance of the industry; the status of major stocks; the assessment of fishing capacity, and activities taken by RFMOs for the management of tuna fishing capacity.