10. Mr Doulman introduced the presentation noting 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 objectives;
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 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries is attached as Appendix G.
11. All participants in the Workshop indicated that they were aware of the Code of Conduct and of its role in promoting long-term sustainable fisheries. Many participants noted that steps had already been taken in the Caribbean subregion to implement the Code. Some discussion focused on ways and means that might be employed to gauge the extent to which the Code was being implemented. In this respect, reference was made to the periodic reporting by countries to FAO on progress with the implementation of the Code. It was noted that an attempt had been made to develop indicators that might be used as quantifiable benchmarks to assess implementation.
12. 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 most of the Codes objectives and principles can be applied to all fisheries, irrespective of their size or location.
13. 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 fisheries 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 H.
14. 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.
15. The need for regional cooperation in implementing the IPOA-IUU in the Caribbean subregion was underscored by the Workshop. This was because of the adjacency of areas of national jurisdiction and resources, some of which were shared (e.g. lobsters). The Workshop agreed that it could be relatively futile for one country in the subregion to adopt certain measures and for its neighbours not to implement similar types of measures. It was further 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. Such cooperation was also important for the harmonization of fishery management measures for countries and territories of the subregion.
16. Some participants referred to the need to ensure that there was effective internal coordination at national level if IUU fishing was to be addressed in an effective manner. It was pointed out that a lack of coordination among national agencies was a global problem and an issue that was often raised as a contributing factor to IUU fishing.
17. Mr Doulman pointed out that three countries in the Caribbean subregion (Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia) had accepted the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement. As part of their efforts to address IUU fishing, countries were encouraged to promote the acceptance of these Agreement and other international instruments when elaborating their respective NPOAs-IUU.
18. The issue of "flags of convenience" or open registries was raised in the Workshop. It was pointed out that some countries in the Caribbean subregion operated such registries. However, it was noted that not all countries that had such registries failed to meet their obligations under international law. The Workshop agreed that countries operating open registries should have the capacity to monitor the vessels on their registries. Some participants observed that the existence of open registries in the Caribbean subregion created a bad image for the subregion. It was noted that some countries had taken steps, with considerable success, to exercise greater control over vessels listed on their registries. This was viewed as a most encouraging development in combating IUU fishing. The Workshop was advised that FAO in 2002 had consulted 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 could be downloaded electronically from the following address: http://www.fao.org/fi/NEMS/events/detail_event.asp?event_id=14250.