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The twenty-sixth session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) was held in Rome, Italy, from 7 to 11 March 2005. The Committee reviewed the issues of an international character and the programme of work of the FAO Fisheries Department in fisheries and aquaculture. The Committee commended FAO on its report on the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its associated instruments and called for a "decade of implementation" of the various instruments developed to ensure responsible fisheries. The Committee called upon Members to accept, ratify or accede to, as appropriate, these instruments. The Committee encouraged FAO to elaborate additional guidelines in support of the Code, including one for the implementation of the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity. The need to initiate international negotiations on the monitoring of fishing vessels within the framework of the Code of Conduct concerning its implementation was underlined. The Committee welcomed the revised Code and Voluntary Guidelines for the Design, Construction and Equipment of Small Fishing Vessels that had been prepared by FAO, the International Labour Organization and the International Maritime Organization. The Committee expressed concern at the proliferation of international fora addressing fisheries matters, some of which lacked sound technical and scientific bases for discussion. The FAO’s medium- to long-term rehabilitation strategy for the fisheries and aquaculture sector in countries affected by the Tsunami was endorsed. Guidelines on ecolabelling of fish and fishery products were adopted. The Committee agreed to give greater attention to small-scale fisheries and to allocate more resources in their support. The Committee expressed its appreciation to FAO and donor countries for giving greater attention to small-scale fisheries and for allocating more resources in their support. It welcomed the advance version of the Code of Conduct Guidelines on Enhancing the Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Poverty Alleviation and Food Security. The Committee stressed that COFI and FAO should continue to provide leadership and maintain an assertive role in fisheries. The Committee commended FAO for the improvements made in the presentation of the Medium Term Plan and Preliminary Programme of Work Proposals for 2006-2007. The Committee underlined that additional allotments should be made to the Major Programme 2.3 "Fisheries".

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