48. The working groups were presented with the task of outlining the steps to be taken in developing a NPOA-IUU. The five groups were requested to:
identify the Ministries/Departments involved in the elaboration of a NPOA-IUU;
what constraints were likely to be faced in the development of a NPOA-IUU;
how these constraints might be overcome;
how national resources could be mobilized for the elaboration of a NPOA-IUU;
what considerations affected the ability of countries to deliver a NPOA-IUU, and
identification of major activities, approvals required and starting and completion dates.
49. The reports of each of the working groups are attached as Appendix L.
50. In commenting on the presentations, Ms Swan commended the groups for their hard work and pointed out that the reports of the groups could be very useful at a later stage in developing NPOAs-IUU. She added that although groups had in some cases adopted different approaches, there was a high degree of commonality among the issues and solutions proposed.
51. Ms Swan noted that the working groups had identified a broad range of agencies that would need to be consulted in the elaboration of NPOAs-IUU. However, she noted that groups had not generally identified the Office of the Prime Minister, the planning agency, nor the agency responsible for communication. She indicated that it was highly valuable to engage these offices at an early stage.
52. Commenting on the constraints identified by the working groups, Ms Swan noted that many of the groups had identified similar issues. However, she added that there had been few references to the need to accept and implement international instruments in the fight against IUU fishing and few references to the need for bilateral and regional cooperation. Some groups had referred to fleet overcapacity. She stated that this issue certainly contributes to IUU fishing and reference to it should be made in NPOAs-IUU.
53. Most working groups referred to similar issues with respect to ways and means of addressing IUU fishing and in mobilizing resources. Ms Swan underscored the importance of awareness building and stakeholder consultation if IUU fishing was to be combated in an effective manner. Importantly, Ms Swan stated that it was not necessary to have laws in force before a NPOA-IUU could be elaborated and implemented. Rather, a country could proceed with the development of its NPOA-IUU and specify in the plan what legislative measures should be taken in order to have its provisions enforceable at law.