63. The Workshop Representatives identified a number of issues that could have been more
comprehensively addressed in the Workshop. These issues were:
by the flag State. For high seas that are covered by RFMO Convention areas, the
consent of flag States must be obtained if a vessel is to be boarded and
inspected. This issue will continue to pose a problem as the principle of
fishing on the high seas has not been separated from the treaty obligations
that govern a particular high seas management area. This aspect should have
been considered in the Workshop.
- There should
have been a basic background in law of the sea issues as an introduction to the
Workshop so as to enable officials who were not lawyers to appreciate the flag
State responsibilities including the basis of fisheries powers and enforcement
in waters under national jurisdiction.
of IUU fishing measures by will pose problems because their rules and scope of
species management vary. Many have organizations have outdated MCS frameworks.
Furthermore, there may be overlaps in responsibilities and as a consequence
some practical problems may surface.
- For issues
under national jurisdiction, operators of fishing vessels and their
responsibilities need strengthening. There should be clarity on what
constitutes IUU fishing under national law.
- For the
Pacific Islands region, guidance was needed on how to address IUU fishing under
the obligations of the Convention for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries
for the blacklisting of vessels required further elaboration. How should such
vessels be dealt with? For vessels fishing in EEZs, how might countries
strengthen license conditions or access arrangements? Should blacklisting be
considered permanent or could it be lifted when a vessel improved its
issues and IUU fishing needed to be addressed together. It may be pointless to
have a strong MCS framework when governance jeopardizes the regulation of IUU
- As a region,
countries should be conscious of the wider implications of open registry issues
and their linkages with IUU fishing. The advantages and disadvantages of open
registries should be considered and countries should be provided guidance as to
why there may be a direct connection with IUU fishing.
- NPOAs-IUU should not
include strategically sensitive information because such information could
render advantages to IUU fishers that have access to these plans. Many NPOAs-IUU required
subplans of actions to facilitate implementation. For example, legislative
review priorities needed to be developed by each country to complement NPOA-IUU.
- NPOAs-IUU are
non-binding and there are no initial reporting requirements to FAO when a NPOA-IUU is adopted by
a country. Nonetheless, IUU fishing is a substantive issue for the Pacific
Islands region and several FAO resolutions and declarations have been made in
recent years, demonstrating the international importance of such fishing. It would
be prudent for FFA and FAO to seek to incorporate IUU fishing issues into
workable frameworks such as the minimum terms and conditions of access to
waters of Pacific Island countries so that action against IUU fishing in
national legislation and priorities would be strengthened.
coordination needed to be improved so as to facilitate the development and
implementation of NPOAs-IUU.
- There was no
regional database on IUU fishing and related activities for information sharing
internationally or in the Pacific Islands region. Efforts to address this gap
would considerably assist countries in the region.
- Trade and
market-related measures were not discussed in full in the Workshop and these
issues required further elaboration in the context of IUU fishing. The question
was posed as to how would IUU fishing matters and trade sanctions be dealt with
in the context of inshore and offshore fisheries?
64. Overall the workshop went well in terms of creating an environment where officials could
talk freely together and in group discussions. There needed to be future
workshops to guide countries on some of the substantive issues on fishing and
not just developing NPOAs-IUU. It would be helpful if FFA and FAO collaborated
to improve the dissemination of information on issues of regional importance
and how to improve measures to combat IUU fishing.