The Expert Consultation on Implementation Issues Associated with Listing Commercially-exploited Aquatic Species on CITES Appendices was held at FAO headquarters from 25 to 28 May 2004. It was held in response to the instruction by the twenty-fifth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) that an Expert Consultation should be convened to address the following issues, related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): (i) CITES Article II Fundamental Principles, Paragraph 2(b), the look-alike clause; (ii) Annex 3 of CITES Resolution Conf. 9.24 Criteria for Amendment of Appendixes I and II, which deals with split-listing, and aquaculture issues as a group, noting the interrelationships in these topics; and (iii) Administrative and monitoring implications of listing and down-listing, including the implications of Annex 4 of Res. Conf. 9.24 for this. It was agreed that this should also include an analysis of the socio-economic impact of listing on sturgeon, queen conch and a number of hypothetical listing proposals.
After extensive discussions, the consultation agreed on a number of key recommendations addressing issues such as: the need within states for improved communication and coordination between their national governmental agencies responsible for CITES implementation and those responsible for natural resource management, including fisheries; concerns by FAO Members on the need for a sufficiently responsive and flexible mechanism for listing and de-listing; approaches to minimize potential problems associated with implementation of the look-alike clause and inflexible avoidance of split-listing; aquaculture and CITES; and the social and economic implications of a CITES listing.