13. Mr Doulman introduced the presentation by stating that the IPOA-IUU had been concluded within the framework of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. He provided information relating to the Code of Conduct in terms of its:
process of elaboration;
purpose and objective;
He pointed out that the effective implementation of the Code of Conduct provided a challenge for countries in their efforts to devise appropriate fisheries policies and measures that would promote adjustment in fisheries so that responsible and long-term sustainability outcomes would be achieved. The paper relating to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries is attached as Appendix F.
14. Some participants noted that important steps had already been taken in the Southeast Asian region to implement the Code of Conduct and that some aspects of it had been adapted to regional needs. It was further noted that the Code served as an important reference point for fisheries legislation management and development in Southeast Asia.
15. With respect to the scope and focus of the Code of Conduct, it was pointed out that the Code had been developed primarily with industrial fisheries in mind. This meant that there was limited emphasis on small-scale and inland fisheries, although many of the Codes objectives and principles could be applied to these fisheries.
16. The presentation relating to the IPOA-IUU provided information about the extent, scope and impact of IUU fishing, the international responses to IUU fishing at the global, regional and national levels, the elaboration process within FAO for the IPOA-IUU, the structure and contents of the IPOA-IUU, including the challenges to be met by regional fishery management organizations or arrangements (RFMOs) if their conservation and management effort were to be successful. Mr Doulman noted that IUU fishing flourished principally because countries failed to meet their obligations under international law with respect to flag State control. For this reason, countries and RFMOs were required to look beyond conventional solutions to combat IUU fishing and adopt and implement a wider and more innovative suite of measures. This was one of the fundamental reasons why FAO had elaborated the IPOA-IUU. He indicated that the IPOA-IUU had the potential to facilitate long-term sustainable fisheries. When reinforced and supported by other national and international fisheries instruments, the IPOA-IUU had the capacity to marshal and facilitate cooperative and targeted action against the root cause of IUU fishing. The paper upon which the presentation was based is attached as Appendix G.
17. The Workshop noted the voluntary nature of the Code of Conduct and the IPOA-IUU. However, it was pointed out that countries could, if they so desired, draw on the voluntary instruments as a basis for drafting binding national legislation. Indeed, it was noted that the Code of Conduct had been drafted with this possibility in mind.
18. The need for international cooperation if IUU fishing was to be addressed effectively was raised by some participants. The Workshop noted that it could be relatively futile for one country to adopt certain measures and for its neighbours not to implement similar types of measures. It was agreed that regional cooperation in the implementation of measures to combat IUU fishing was required if loopholes were to be closed and weak points eliminated.
19. Some participants addressed the need for effective internal coordination at the national level to ensure that IUU fishing was addressed in an expeditious and consistent manner. It was noted that coordination between the agency responsible for vessel registration and the agency responsible for the issuing of fishing authorizations, for example, sometimes led to inconsistent decisions. It was noted that the IPOA-IUU encouraged governments to promote effective national coordination in their efforts to combat IUU fishing.
20. Some participants noted that only a few countries in Southeast Asia had accepted the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and ratified the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement. They further noted that given the nature and scope of fisheries in the subregion, these two binding international instruments might not be as relevant as they were to countries in other regions. Nonetheless, it was agreed that countries in Southeast Asia should assess the merits of accepting/ratifying these instruments as part of their efforts in addressing IUU fishing.
21. With respect to the implementation of the IPOA-IUUs provisions relating to internationally agreed market-related measures, it was pointed out that such measures adopted should be applied in conformity with the principles, rights and obligations established in the World Trade Organization and implemented in a fair, transparent and non discriminatory manner.
22. The issue of flags of convenience or open registries was discussed in the Workshop. It was noted that many countries operating open registries failed to exercise effective flag State control over their vessels and that very often these vessels engaged in IUU fishing and related activities. The Workshop was advised that FAO had consulted in 2002 with some countries operating open registries and that the report of this Expert Consultation and the papers prepared for it were available from FAO. The report can be downloaded from http://www.fao.org/fi/NEMS/events/detail_event.asp?event_id=14250