23. Mr Doulman provided an outline of the IPOA-IUU. He noted that its implementation focused on several different types of measures. Responsibility for implementation rested with States and interested stakeholders and, as appropriate regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs). Importantly, NPOAs-IUU were the vehicles by which the IPOA-IUU should be implemented. Moreover, these national plans should be reviewed periodically after their adoption to ensure that they remained up-to-date.
24. Mr Doulman noted that the IPOA-IUU provided a “toolbox” of measures for States and RFMOs to address IUU fishing. Whereas these had been a conventional reliance on flag State and coastal State measures to promote fisheries management, the IPOA-IUU sought to utilize novel measures to combat IUU fishing such as the use of port State measures and market-related measures to block the trade in IUU caught fish. Mr Doulman pointed out that the inability or unwillingness of States to exercise effective flag State control was the root cause of IUU fishing. He added that if such control was exercised effectively, the incidence of IUU fishing would be greatly reduced.
25. It was noted that the measures designed to support the implementation of the IPOA-IUU should be seen as being internally consistent and mutually reinforcing. The measures envisaged actions by States (in their capacities as all States, flag States, coastal States and port States) and the use of internationally agreed market-related measures. In addition, RFMOs had a central role to play in combating IUU fishing through the promotion of regional action to curb such fishing. Mr Doulman added that the IPOA-IUU highlighted the special requirements of developing countries in terms of their capacity to implement the plan. In particular the IPOA-IUU urged FAO and other international agencies to cooperate with developing countries, including the least developed among them and small island developing States, to support capacity building and institutional strengthening. The IPOA-IUU proposed that assistance from the international donor community could be used to develop NPOAs-IUU; to review and revise national legislation, to improve and harmonize fisheries and related data collection; to strengthen regional institutions and to enhance integrated MCS programmes, including the implementation of vessel monitoring systems (VMS).
26. Mr Doulman stated that FAO monitored the implementation of the IPOA-IUU through its reporting to COFI on the implementation of the Code of Conduct. FAO Members, RFMOs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were invited to report to FAO every two years on achievements associated with the implementation of the Code of Conduct. Respondents were also invited to identify constraints being encountered and ways of overcoming them together with possible future priorities. This information, collated and analysed by FAO, was important in that it enabled the Organization to assess and highlight difficulties being encountered by Members and RFMOs in their implementation efforts and to indicate priorities and development assistance need for the international donor community.
27. In the conclusion of his presentation Mr Doulman stressed that the implementation of the IPOA-IUU presented challenges for all countries irrespective of their level of development and the nature of the fisheries. He noted that FAO and the international community were aware that the elaboration of NPOAs-IUU placed an additional burden on fishery administrations, many of which were already heavily committed and faced capacity and financial constraints.
28. Discussion during and after the presentation focused on a range of issues including the role of the flag States in relation to vessel registration and the authorization to fish; the requirement that some vessels required two authorizations to fish - one from a flag State and the other from a coastal State if a vessel was to operate in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of another State; the importance of port State measures in assisting flag States meet their obligations under international law; the role of certification and documentation in tracing fish offered for sale and the fundamental role of RFMOs in promoting international cooperation to combat IUU fishing. Participants noted the underlying themes in the IPOA-IUU relating to the need for regional cooperation and exchange of information, two principles that were already firmly established in the Pacific Islands region. Some participants also pointed out that the Convention establishing the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission incorporated most, if not all, of the provisions included in the IPOA-IUU and those States that had ratified the Convention would be obligated to implement those provisions. In this way, these States would also be implementing most of the provisions of the IPOA-IUU.