1. On the recommendation of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) at its Twenty-fifth Session, the Director-General of FAO, Mr Jacques Diouf, convened the Technical Consultation to Review Port State Measures to Combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. The Technical Consultation was held at FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy, from 31 August to 2 September 2004.
2. The Consultation was attended by 59 Members and observers, one non-Member nation of FAO, by representatives from four specialized agencies of the United Nations, and by observers from three intergovernmental and two international non-governmental organizations. The list of delegates and observers is given in Appendix B. The documents that were placed before the Consultation are listed in Appendix C.
3. The meeting was called to order by the Joint Secretary of the Consultation, Mr David J. Doulman from the FAO Fisheries Department. The other Joint Secretary of the Consultation was Ms Annick Van Houtte from the FAO Legal Office.
4. Mr. Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General, FAO Fisheries Department, in his opening statement on behalf of the Director-General, noted that in 2001 FAO Members had endorsed the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU). It had been elaborated within the framework of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. He added that Members were grappling with the challenges of implementing the IPOA-IUU that addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in a holistic manner. Mr. Nomura stated that the focus of the Technical Consultation was clear: how to use port State measures as an effective instrument to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. He pointed out that the agenda for the Technical Consultation had been largely set by the outcome of the 2002 Expert Consultation. He added that the question of the elaboration of Regional Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Measures to Combat IUU Fishing would be at the center of the attention of the meeting, which was expected to discuss the draft Memorandum as proposed by the Experts. Mr. Nomura stated that the Consultation would also address the elaboration of programmes of assistance to facilitate human development and institutional strengthening in developing countries so as to promote the full and effective implementation of port State measures against IUU fishing. A further agenda item concerned the establishment of a database for relevant port States measures. Mr Nomura concluded his statement by thanking the presence at this Consultation of Judge Thomas Mensah from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea who had chaired the 2002 Expert Consultation and acknowledging the cooperation of two UN specialized agencies, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), both of which had provided resource persons to the Secretariat. FAO welcomed this collaboration and interagency cooperation as a means of harmonizing the respective efforts of the three agencies to combat IUU fishing. The full text of the opening statement is attached as Appendix D.