Since the FAO Committee on Fisheries adopted the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity in February 1999, FAO has fullfiled a major role in addressing this crucial issue for the conservation and sustainability of fisheries resources. Overcapacity is a problem that contributes substantially to overfishing, the decline of food production and significant economic waste.
In response to the above-mentioned International Plan of Action and at the request made by some countries at the twenty-fourth session of the FAO's Committee on Fisheries for assistance in addressing the problem of tuna fishing overcapacity, FAO formulated the "Management of tuna fishing capacity: conservation and socio-economics" Project. FAO, in its global and multidisciplinary role and involvement and expertise in tuna resources, fishing, processing and trade, was considered an appropriate organization to address the problem. The Government of Japan financed the Project.
The FAO Project established an external Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to foster the collaboration of tuna fishery bodies and other major intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations involved in tuna fishing, fisheries research and management. The studies included in these Proceedings are a result of the priorities set by the Project in consultation with the TAC in its first meeting (Rome, Italy, 14-16 April 2003). These priorities cover a wide range of subjects, such as tuna fisheries and resources, the estimation of fishing capacity, the tuna fishing industry and the management of tuna fishing capacity. Preliminary versions of papers on these studies were presented and critically reviewed at the second meeting of TAC (Madrid, Spain, 15-18 March 2004). Their final versions presented in this publication benefited from the suggestions for improvements that were received from the TAC and various other fisheries experts.