53. The four working groups were presented with the task of outlining the steps to be taken in developing a NPOA-IUU. The 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.
54. The reports of each of the working groups are attached as Appendix M.
55. 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.
56. 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 referred to a need to involve or inform the Office of the Prime Minister, Cabinet or Parliament of progress. She indicated that it was highly valuable to engage these offices at an early stage. Ms Swan noted that one group had suggested the creation of a Fisheries Advisory Council in an effort to involve NGOs and other stakeholder in the process and observed the potential benefit of such an approach.
57. Commenting on the constraints to developing and delivering a NPOA-IUU identified by the working groups, Ms Swan noted that many of the groups had identified similar issues. However, she added that policy development in initial stages could serve as a valuable tool upon which other mechanisms can be built, such as interagency MOUs, securing financial resources, legislative review and communication strategies. She emphasized the importance of the suggestion made by some groups that the comprehensive financial benefit of the fisheries sector should be made available in order to foster an appreciation of the value of the sector and attract further budgetary support to overcome constraints in developing a NPOA-IUU. It was noted that private sector donations and legal provisions for cost recovery and environmental damage, as suggested by one group are being used in some countries to overcome budgetary constraints. It was also observed that one group had identified boundary delimitation as a constraint in the subregion, and that dialogue could assist in overcoming this constraint.
58. 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.