OPENING OF THE WORKSHOP
ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS AND TECHNICAL ISSUES FOR THE WORKSHOP
1995 FAO CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES: DEVELOPMENT CONSIDERATIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES
2001 INTERNATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION TO PREVENT, DETER AND ELIMINATE IUU FISHING: BACKGROUND AND PROGRESS TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS: WHAT IS AN ACTION PLAN?
PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE IPOA-IUU
CONSIDERATION OF THE TECHNICAL GUIDELINES ON IUU FISHING
THE MODEL PLAN OF ACTION FOR THE PACIFIC ISLANDS REGION TO PREVENT, DETER AND ELIMINATE ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING
MAKING RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS ABOUT IUU FISHING: THE CASE OF THE “GALAPAGOS BEAUTY”
REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF NPOAS-IUU ALREADY PREPARED FOR PACIFIC ISLANDS COUNTRIES
IDENTIFICATION OF ISSUES AND ACTIONS TO DEVELOP A NPOA-IUU
IDENTIFICATION OF MAJOR IUU FISHING PROBLEMS IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS REGION AND SOLUTIONS TO OVERCOME THESE PROBLEMS
PROPOSED NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND GLOBAL FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS TO THE WORKSHOP
REPORT OF THE WORKSHOP REPRESENTATIVES
CLOSURE OF THE WORKSHOP
Director of Fisheries (Ag)
Fisheries Research and Development Officer
Government of Tuvalu
Tel.: +688 20836
Fax: +688 20346/20151
Fiji Fisheries Department
Ministry of Fisheries and Forests
PO Box 2218
Tel.: +679 3301011 ext. 104151
Fax: +679 3318769
Deputy Secretary for Fisheries
Ministry of Fisheries
PO Box 871
Tel.: +676 21-399
Fax: +676 23-891
Senior VMS Officer
Samoa Police Maritime Wing
Ministry of Police
PO Box 53
Tel.: +685 25418/22222 ext. 510
Fax: +685 25194/20848
MALSOL, Nannette D. (Ms)
Fisheries Law Compliance Officer
Bureau of Oceanic Fishery Management
Palau Fisheries Advisory Committee
Ministry of Resources and Development
PO Box 117
Tel.: +680 4883125
Fax: +680 4883555
MARU, Pamela (Ms)
Ministry of Marine Resources
PO Box 85
Tel.: +682 28721
Fax: +682 29721
Head, Licensing of Compliance
Tel.: +678 23119
Fax: +678 23641
NIDUNG, Masio (Ms)
A/Deputy State Solicitor (International Law)
Office of the State Solicitor
Department of Attorney General
PO Box 591
Papua New Guinea
Tel.: +675 3012871/3012915
Fax: +675 3230241
PAKOP, D. Noan
A/Manager for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS)
National Fisheries Authority
PO Box 2016
National Capital District
Papua New Guinea
Tel.: +675 3090444/436
Fax: + 675 3202061
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
PO Box 1847
Tel.: +685 20369/22047/20005
Fax: +685 24576
Licensing and Enforcement
PO Box 2218
Tel.: +679 3301011
Fax: +679 3318765
Division of Marine Law Enforcement (DMLE)
Ministry of Justice
Tel.: +680 488-5206
Senior Resource Economist
Ministry of Fisheries and Marine
Tel.: +686 21099
Fax: +686 21120
Department of Agriculture Forestry
and Fisheries (DAFF)
Tel.: +683 4032
National Oceanic Resource Management
Authority (NORMA), FSM
PO Box PS 122
Federated States of Micronesia 96941
Tel.: +691 3202700/3205181
Fax: +691 3203283
Vessel Monitoring System
Forum Fisheries Agency
PO Box 629
Tel.: +677 21124
Fax: +677 23995
Marine Studies Programme
University of the South Pacific
GPO. Box 1168
Tel.: +679 3232942
Fax: +679 3232526
Private Mail Bag
Tel.: +679 3312861
Fax: + 679 3312784
Private Mail bag
Tel.: +679 3312861
Fax: + 679 3312784
FUAVAO, Vili A.
FAO Subregional Representative for the Pacific
FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific
Private Mail Bag
Tel.: (685) 22127/20710
Fax: (685) 22126
Management, Control and Surveillance Specialist
PO Box 2011
Tel./Fax: (282) 23066
DOULMAN, David J.
Technical Secretary and
Senior Fishery Liaison Officer
Fishery Policy and Planning Division
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 0657056752
Fax: +39 0657056500
HERMANUS Gaëlle (Ms)
Fishery Policy and Planning Division
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel.: +39 0657056591
Fax: +39 0657056500
Workshop Coordinator and Fishery Officer
FAO Subregional Office
for the Pacific Islands
Private Mail Bag
Fax: (685) 22126
VAN DER HEIJDEN,
Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Specialist
International Agricultural Center (IAC, Wageningen-UR)
PO Box 88
6700 AB Wageningen
Tel.: +31 317 495349
Fax: +31 317 495395
Doulman, D.J. 2005. 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries: Development Considerations and Implementation Challenges . FAO, Rome.
Doulman, D.J. 2005. 2001 FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing: Background and Progress towards Implementation . FAO, Rome.
van der Heijden, P.G.M. 2005. Planning Your Actions . FAO, Rome.
Brown, C. 2005. Model Plan of Action to Combat IUU Fishing in the Pacific Islands Region. FAO, Rome.
FAO. 1995. Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries . FAO, Rome.
FAO. 2001. International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. FAO, Rome.
FAO. 2002. Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing . FAO Fisheries Technical Guidelines. No.9. FAO, Rome.
FAO. 2002. Stopping Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing . FAO, Rome.
FAO. 2003. CD-ROM. Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries . FAO, Rome.
Dr Vili A. Fuavao
FAO Subregional Representative for the Pacific
Representatives from the countries, observers, resource persons, colleagues from Rome, ladies and gentlemen.
FAO extends to all of you a warmest welcome to the FAO Regional Workshop on the Elaboration of National Plans of Action to Deter, Eliminate and Prevent Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.
Under the framework of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the implementation of International Plans of Action (IPOAs) has been promoted with focusing on specific issues that the international community has identified as requiring targeted action. They include 1) conservation and management of sharks, 2) management of fishing capacity and 3) combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, more commonly referred to as “ IUU Fishing”.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, agreed on specific deadlines for putting into effect of IPOA-IUU Fishing at the national level by 2004 and IPOA-Fishing Capacity by 2005. Also at the SIDS Conference in Mauritius in January 2005, it was recommended that national and regional efforts should be promoted through appropriate assessment and management of fish stocks and effective monitoring and surveillance of fishing efforts, including appropriate enforcement measures to minimize illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and over-harvesting. This was reinforced by the Rome Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing adopted by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries held in Rome, Italy, in March 2005.
In the past ten years, the appropriate measures have been taken in the member countries to give effect to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries including the incorporation of some aspects of it into national legislation. However, it is recognized that continued efforts are imperative to further promotion of the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. FAO continues to assist countries on these matters. This includes an FAO convened Regional Workshop on the Implementation of the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Pacific Islands: A Call for Action held, here, in Nadi in October 2003.
At the recently held Sixth Meeting of FAO South West Pacific Ministers for Agriculture in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 1–3 June 2005, Ministers expressed their concern about the growing problem of IUU fishing in the region and the negative impacts of subsidies on efforts to control IUU fishing in the region. In recognition of this, Ministers agreed on the need for a collaborative effort to deal with IUU fishing through the development of a regional agreement on the management and conservation of fisheries resources of the region.
Ministers also urged FAO to continue to assist countries in the further implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries at the national and regional levels, and in the development of their national plans for the implementation of the provisions of the International Plans of Action particularly for sharks and IUU fishing. Further, Ministers requested that FAO assists member countries with updating their fisheries legislation to ensure effective processing and prosecution of illegal fishing activities.
I look forward in anticipation to the outcomes of this workshop. They will provide us with a further guide to the management of fisheries resources at national and regional levels, in particular, to Deter, Eliminate and Prevent Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. FAO will continue to assist its member countries through strengthening national capacities and the promotion of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and International Plans of Action in the region
Vinaka vaka levu.
David J. Doulman
FAO, Rome, Italy
The concept of a code of conduct for responsible fisheries and the possibility of elaborating guidelines or a code of practice was first mooted at the Nineteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 1991 within the context of its deliberations concerning large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing.2 In this connection, COFI recognized that FAO “… had an important role to play in promoting international understanding about the responsible conduct of fishing operations and recommended that FAO should strengthen its work on gear selectivity and behaviour of marine animals in relation to fishing gear particularly but not exclusively those types of fishing gear which are employed in high seas fisheries. Such technical work could result in the elaboration of guidelines or a code of practice for responsible fishing which would take into account all the technical, socio-economic and environmental factors involved.” It was in this manner that the concept of, and the need for, a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was conceived.
2 FAO. 1991. FAO Fisheries Report No. 459 . Report of the Nineteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. FAO. Rome. 59p
Responding to the call from COFI, the Government of Mexico in consultation with FAO organized the International Conference on Responsible Fishing in Cancún in May 1992.3 The objectives of this Conference were threefold to.4
3 Preamble by the Mexican Secretary of Fisheries to the report of the International Conference on Responsible Fishing (mimeo).
4 The objectives of the Conference and the scope of the papers prepared for it embraced broader fisheries issues than fishing in isolation.
The Conference was well attended with representatives from more than 60 countries and the European Community. In addition, representatives from key intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs), participated. The Conference considered background papers focusing on the world's fisheries situation; fishery resources and their environment, management and development; fish capture activities, and fish trade.
The Conference adopted the Declaration of Cancun. It noted, inter alia , the vital need for fishing to continue and to develop within a comprehensive and balanced system under the concept of ‘responsible fishing'. The Declaration further noted that this concept encompassed the:
The Declaration urged States to implement a wide range of measures as a means of achieving sustainable fisheries. Finally, the Declaration, inter alia , called upon FAO, in consultation with relevant international organizations, to draft an International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing.
Significantly, the Cancun Conference provided input to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), or Earth Summit, that was held shortly after the Cancun Conference. UNCED hastened the process within FAO to address issues relating to responsible fisheries as a result of the adoption of Agenda 21: The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio.
In 1993 the Twentieth Session of COFI noted that the FAO Council in November 1991 had already endorsed the request made in the Declaration of Cancun for FAO to elaborate, in consultation with relevant international organizations, a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.5 COFI agreed that such a Code would be important for achieving sustainable fisheries development. At the same time COFI expressed satisfaction that FAO would contribute in a technical and scientific capacity to the UN Fish Stocks Conference. The Committee also agreed that the negotiation of the Compliance Agreement should be kept on a “fast track”, while reiterating that flagging issues would be among the issues to be covered by the Code.6
5 The title of the Code was changed from “fishing” to “fisheries” following the conclusion of the Cancun Conference so as to reflect the real purpose and intent of the proposed Code.
6 FAO. 1993. FAO Fisheries Report No. 488. Report of the Twentieth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. FAO. Rome. 77p. The Compliance Agreement is not discussed in detail in this paper because it being addressed extensively in other sessions of this Conference.
The scope and the process of elaboration of the Code were major items for discussion at the 1995 Twenty-first Session of COFI. The Committee stressed the importance of the Code as an instrument to support the implementation of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 Convention) as well as the fisheries outcomes of UNCED. COFI also noted that technical guidelines would be developed by FAO to support and facilitate the Code's implementation.7
7 FAO. 1995. FAO Fisheries Report No. 524. Report of the Twenty-first Session of the Committee on Fisheries. FAO. Rome. 61p.
The Code's elaboration was largely achieved through open-ended technical working groups. All of these working groups met at FAO Headquarters in Rome.8 Open-ended groups were convened so as to encourage as wider participation as possible in the negotiation process. Recognising the financial difficulty that many developing countries had in participating in the work of these groups, FAO supported the participation of some countries at meetings with a view to maintaining regional representation and balance. Moreover, in the elaboration process close relations between FAO and international NGOs were encouraged. Many of these NGOs made sustained and important technical contributions to the elaboration process. This participation and transparency was highly appreciated both by FAO Members and the international NGO community.
8 While all the working groups were held at FAO Headquarters in Rome, FAO did avail itself of the opportunity to convene briefing sessions for countries and non-governmental organizations in New York at the UN Headquarters when Session of the Fish Stocks Conference were in progress.
At the 1997 Twenty-second Session of COFI, the Code of Conduct was addressed as a substantive item. In considering this item the Committee focused, to a significant extent, on securing funding to support the implementation of the Code in developing countries and on monitoring and reporting on its implementation. COFI agreed that progress reports should be presented to the Committee at each session. These reports would address achievements and progress with implementation. Governments and civil society would be requested to provide information to FAO on progress achieved with national implementation through the use of a questionnaire. This information would then be incorporated into a consolidated report for COFI.9
9 The monitoring function of the Code is an on-going FAO activity. It is achieved both through both informal and formal mechanisms, though the most important means for monitoring is the information provided to FAO by its Members and civil society.
SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES
The Code's scope is broad and comprehensive. It prescribes principles and standards for the conservation and management of all fisheries, and to this end, the Code addresses the capture, processing and trade in fish and fishery products, fishing operations, aquaculture, fisheries research and the integration of fisheries into coastal area management. Moreover, the Code takes cognisance of the state of world fisheries and aquaculture, and proposes actions towards implementing fundamental changes within the fisheries sector to encourage sustainable utilization of fisheries and aquaculture, as envisaged by COFI when the Code was proposed and Agenda 21.
The rationale underpinning the Code is the notion that structural adjustment within the fisheries sector is required if long-term sustainability goals are to be realized. Moreover, the Code recognizes that while policy decisions concerning the changes aimed at achieving sustainability rest firmly with governments, the effective implementation of the Code requires wide stakeholder participation and cooperation (i.e. from fishermen, processors, NGOs to consumers).
The Code's objectives are in Article 2. The objectives are to:
The Code is a voluntary instrument. In total, the Code has 12 articles and two annexes. Articles 1 to 5 cover, respectively, the nature and scope of the Code, objectives, the relationship with other international instruments, implementation, monitoring and updating, and the special requirements of developing countries.
The substantive articles of the Code are found Articles 6 to 12. These articles are:
The Code's two annexes provide respectively, background information on the elaboration of the Code and the text of FAO Conference Resolution 4/95 concerning the adoption of the Code.
Resolution 4/95, recalling Article 5 of the Code, urged that the special requirements of developing countries be taken into account in implementing its provisions. The resolution also requested FAO to elaborate an inter-regional programme for external assistance for these countries.10 The purpose of this programme is to target the upgrading of developing countries' capabilities so that they would be better placed to meet their obligations under the Code. Unfortunately, FAO has not met with great success in securing trust funds to support the inter-regional programme.
10 This request was met through FAO elaborating the Interregional Programme of Assistance to Developing Concerns for the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER RECENT FISHERY INSTRUMENTS
The Code is closely related to several other fishery instruments and it serves, in different ways, to re-enforce and support their goals and purpose.11 To this extent the Code and these other instruments, which have similar overall goals but more limited foci, can be viewed as a package designed to confront fisheries and aquaculture problems at different levels and on different fronts. These instruments include the Compliance Agreement, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the international plans of action (IPOAs) dealing with the:
11 Article 3 of the Code requires that it be interpreted in conformity with the 1982 Convention, and in a manner consistent with the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and in the light of the 1992 Declaration of Cancún, the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and other relevant declarations and international instruments.
prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
1993 FAO Compliance Agreement
The 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement is an integral component of the Code, even though it has a different legal status to the Code. The purpose of the Agreement is to permit countries to take effective action, consistent with international law, to deter the reflagging of vessels by their nationals as a means of avoiding compliance with high seas conservation and management measures. This means that countries that have accepted the Agreement are obligated to ensure that their flag vessels operating on the high seas are duly authorized to fish there. Such authorization should, as a result, enhance flag State control in high-seas fisheries and enable these fisheries to be more effectively managed.
1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement
The Code, because of its application to all fisheries, reinforces the principles and provisions of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement with respect to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks. If effectively implemented in tandem, the Code of Conduct and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement should enhance the long-term status of these two types of stocks.
International plans of action and strategies
To date four IPOAs and one strategy have been concluded within the framework of the Code. These IPOAs and strategy support the Code's fundamental trusts and intent while focusing on specific fisheries management issues.
The IPOAs target specific fishery conservation and management issues that have been identified by the international community as requiring urgent attention. The IPOAs for the management of fishing capacity and IUU fishing, in particular, address directly and indirectly, issues of fundamental concern such as overfishing and the need to rebuild fish stocks. The IPOAs on the conservation and management of sharks and incidental catches of seabirds in longline fisheries focus on rebuilding depleted stocks and the minimization of waste in fisheries. These issues, among others, and the need to address them in a timely and coherent manner were identified in the 1995 Rome Consensus as being critical to improving sustainability.
The Strategy for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Capture Fisheries (Strategy-STF), endorsed by the FAO Council in 2003, is a voluntary instrument that applies to all States and entities. Its overall objective is to provide a framework, strategy and plan for the improvement of knowledge and understanding of fishery status and trends as a basis for fisheries policy-making and management for the conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources within ecosystems.
In adopting the Code of Conduct in 1995 the FAO Conference made a call to all those involved in the fisheries sector, including both FAO and non-FAO Members, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs, industry and fishers to collaborate in the fulfilment and implementation of the Code's objectives and principles.
This call by the Conference has been heeded and is gaining strength. FAO, countries, regional fishery organizations, industry, NGOs and academia have, individually and jointly, initiated activities in line with the Code's principles to facilitate sustainable fisheries. The results of these activities are already apparent in some cases with notable improvements in the way in which some fish stocks are utilized. However, rapid adjustment and change in the fisheries sector, as a consequence of steps taken to implement the Code, are unlikely to result, nor indeed should they be expected. Rather, progress towards implementation of the Code, and the benefits generated from policies and measures adopted by governments to facilitate sustainability, are more likely to yield phased and incremental results.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO has a responsibility to globally facilitate the implementation of the Code and to technically support national and regional initiatives towards this end. In this respect, FAO has a critical catalytic role to play in the implementation process but the Organization does not implement the Code per se. This point is sometimes not clearly understood, and there is a perception that FAO is responsible for the implementation of the Code.
FAO's promotional role focuses on a number of different, but related, activities. These initiatives accord with instructions from FAO's Governing Bodies in relation to supporting the wide dissemination and implementation of the Code. The initiatives include, not in priority order:
An important feature of FAO's work in implementing the Code of Conduct is that it provides a clear, but dynamic framework, in which to focus the Fisheries Department's programme of work and budget. Although FAO has worked for decades on projects and programmes to facilitate better fisheries management, the adoption of the Code provided an umbrella under which all the Department's activities could be pulled together. This situation has encouraged, and indeed led to, enhanced coordination of activities in the Department.
FAO faces a number of constraints with respect to its efforts to promote the implementation of the Code. The constraints affect the pace and extent to which implementation might be facilitated. Two of the more important constraints include the rate of dissemination of the Code and a lack of awareness of it in fishing communities and FAO's inability to secure trust funds to support the inter-regional programme.
The Code of Conduct is a global document and as such does not take account of all regional and fishery specificities. Indeed, when the Code was being negotiated FAO and its Members recognized this point. Consequently, it was acknowledged that to meet the particular fishery needs of different regions and fishery sub-sectors (e.g. inland fisheries), regional and sectoral implementation would be desirable. However, such regional and sectoral implementation should not violate the spirit and intent of the Code but rather serve to enhance and strengthen it.
FAO views regional and sectoral implementation in a positive light because it will yield benefits that will, in turn, positively impact implementation. Some of these benefits that are anticipated include:
At the regional and sectoral levels, both FAO and non-FAO regional fishery bodies have important roles to play in promoting the Code's implementation. The mounting of regional workshops to disseminate information about the Code and launching activities designed to facilitate implementation are considered by FAO and its Members to be key initiatives. It is highly encouraging that non-FAO regional fishery bodies, of their own volition, are taking steps to implement parts of the Code.
Regional and sectoral implementation of the Code is hampered, in some instances, by a reluctance of regional fishery bodies to embrace the Code and by a failure of countries to implement measures that have been agreed regionally. Moreover, enhanced collaboration among FAO and non-FAO regional fishery bodies is being encouraged. In view of the benefits stemming from this collaboration, FAO will continue to facilitate both formal and informal contacts among these bodies.
A fundamental concept underlying the implementation of the Code is the assumption that governments want better and responsibly managed fisheries, and that they are prepared to take difficult decisions, in the short-term, as a means of attaining longer-term sustainability gains. However, this assumption may be somewhat naive, since governments may have short planning and policy horizons. Under these circumstances, governments may seek to minimize social and economic disruption through their fishery policy interventions, even when it is recognized that such intervention is required to improve conditions in the sector. It is for this reason that technical advice concerning fisheries management and the policy decisions taken by governments concerning management often fail to intermesh.
In implementing the Code of Conduct, FAO encourages national fishery administrations to work with all stakeholders in the sector to promote the changes required towards long-term sustainability.
In large-scale fisheries, industry has a prominent role in implementing the Code. This role focuses on trying to ensure that industry complies with measures adopted. Such compliance will reduce significantly MCS costs, irrespective of whether they are paid for by government or industry itself.
In contrast, in artisanal and small-scale capture fisheries, fishing communities themselves (through community-based approaches to management) and NGOs are encouraged to promote and support the Code's implementation.
In response to COFI directives in 1997 concerning the need for FAO to monitor the implementation of the Code, FAO reported to the Committee in a substantive manner at the 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 Sessions of COFI. These reports consolidated and analysed the self-assessment information provided to FAO by its Members.
In the 2005 report it was noted that trends in constraints and solutions to the implementation of the Code of Conduct remained generally unaltered from 2003. It was further noted that even though more advanced forms of fisheries management practices, such as the use of stock specific target reference points, were being applied, many stocks under such regimes continue to be either fully or over exploited. The same was true for fisheries where VMS was now deployed as a standard MCS tool. In addition, both the ecosystem approach to fisheries and the implementation of the precautionary approach in fisheries management remained weak. This matter was compounded by important data gaps. Moreover, product traceability and trade instruments continued to be largely under-exploited as control mechanisms. However, illegal harvesting of resources was a ubiquitous problem reported by a majority of Members (86 percent requiring control mechanisms at all levels to block avenues for offenders to market illegal harvests).
In the COFI report in 2003 FAO Members identified the following constraints in implementing the Code of Conduct. These constraints included:
Solutions suggested by Members to address these constraints involved:
Importantly all the reports tabled at COFI have noted that training and capacity building remain major preoccupations and priorities in most developing countries with respect to the implementation of the Code. Countries have also indicated that the lack of financial resources constrain implementation.
In considering national efforts to implement the Code, COFI has emphasized that the Code is an important basic instrument to facilitate sustainable utilization of fishery resources and hence to contribute to food security and wellbeing of people. Among other proposals, COFI requested FAO to assist further with the implementation of the Code through the provision of Code-related materials and through organizing workshops. Attention has been drawn to the large number of illiterate fishers in many countries and it has been suggested that suitable vehicles should be developed, such as audio-visual material, for informing such people of the Code and its objectives. FAO has attempted to address this issue through the preparation of a video and documents in non-technical language.
The 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries seeks to facilitate change and adjustment in the fisheries sector as a means of ensuring that resources are utilized in a long-term sustainable manner. Comprehensive and integrated in nature, and intended to be implemented in a holistic manner, the Code addresses all aspects of fishery practice. While not only recognizing that the implementation of the Code must take account of the inter-relatedness of the various sub-sectors of the fisheries sector, the Code underscores the critical nutritional, economic, social, environmental and culturally important role fisheries play in artisanal and industrial fishing communities.
The effective implementation of the Code is a major challenge for all stakeholders in the sector. Implementation requires that problems are realistically assessed and national policies put in place to deal with them. In many cases these tasks involve difficult policy decisions for governments, especially where it is necessary to limit or reduce levels of fishing effort. In developing countries a lack of technical capacity hinders efforts to address issues of sustainability, and bilateral and multilateral technical assistance will need to be continued, and boosted, in order to strengthen capacity.
The implementation of the Code should not viewed in isolation. Indeed, as noted above, it serves to complement other recently concluded international instruments - notably the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement, the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the IPOAs. Indeed, from a fisheries conservation and management perspective these instruments might be best seen as a package. The successful implementation of these instruments should go a long way to addressing, if not resolving, most of the major problems that lead to unsustainable practices in the fisheries sector.
The implementation of the Code will be improved if:
FAO is in a position to focus on, and influence, some of these issues but efforts by governments and stakeholders are also required.
David J. Doulman
FAO, Rome, Italy
The international community has identified illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to be a major impediment to the achievement of long-term sustainable fisheries as called for, inter alia , in Chapter 17 of Agenda 21,12 the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries,13 the UN Millennium Development Goals14 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.15 This is because the activities of IUU fishers undermine national and regional efforts to implement management measures that are designed to promote responsible fisheries. This is an especially grave situation since FAO in 2003 (and over the previous decade) has estimated that some 75 percent of world fisheries are already being fully exploited, overexploited or depleted.16
12 Adopted in 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).
13 Adopted in 1995 by the Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Conference.
14 Adopted in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly at its Fifty-fifth Session.
15 Adopted in 2002 by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
16 FAO. 2004. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. FAO. Rome. p32.
IUU fishing is virtually a universal fishing problem that occurs in marine and inland capture fisheries. Despite common misunderstandings about IUU fishing, it is not confined to any particular group of fishers, though experience shows that IUU fishing is widely practiced in those fisheries - both within exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and on the high seas - where the prospects for apprehension are lowest and by fishers that operate vessels that are not subject to effective flag State control. This means that many countries, because of their limited means to implement effective measures in their EEZs to regulate legitimate and illegitimate fishing activities, are subject to re-occurring IUU fishing by both national and foreign fleets.
The work of some regional fishery management organizations or arrangements (RFMOs), which are the cornerstones for the promotion of international cooperation in fisheries management, report that IUU fishing in their convention areas by both member and non-member flag vessels is widespread and handicaps their efforts to rationally manage fisheries. This is critical because if RFMOs are not in a position to fulfil their mandates with respect to management, the outlook for the sustainable utilization of many of the world's commercially important fish stocks is bleak.
The international community further recognizes that IUU fishing is symptomatic of other problems facing the fisheries sector. These problems need to be resolved in a timely manner if IUU fishing is to be prevented, deterred and eliminated. These problems include, inter alia :
17 This point was highlighted at the Twenty-fifth Session of the Committee on Fisheries and again reiterated at the Twenty-sixth Session of the Committee. Many countries pointed out that IUU fishing, often by displaced vessels, undermines efforts to sustainably manage fisheries at both national and regional levels.
There are no global data on the full extent and cost of IUU fishing. The nature of this type of fishing does not readily permit global estimation with any significant degree of confidence. However, some RFMOs are working to assess the regional extent and impacts of IUU fishing. In one case, for example, it is estimated by an RFMO that catches of one commercially-valuable species could be exceeding permitted catch levels by nearly 300 percent.
As a consequence of RFMO assessments of the scope and effects of IUU fishing, it should be possible to:
It is acknowledged that the implementation of RFMO measures to combat IUU fishing are only as effective as their members permit them to be because these organizations are not supra-national entities. A failure by RFMOs to effectively address IUU fishing reflects, to some degree, a lack of political will18 by their members to take concerted and calculated steps to control fishing vessels that engage in activities that undermine the work of RFMOs and thereby render their fisheries management efforts sub-optimal.19
18 A lack of political will to take action to curb IUU fishing is a major constraint to dealing effectively with this type of fishing. Moreover, there is a tendency for some States to take refuge behind national policies and legislation as a means of avoiding or deferring commitments that are necessary to combat IUU fishing.
19 There is a growing impatience with diplomatic approaches to IUU fishing and the members of some RFMOs are contemplating the adoption of ‘name and shame' policies for vessels and flags that are perpetual IUU fishing offenders.
A further serious and moral consideration relating to IUU fishing is that such fishing is contributing to food insecurity in some coastal and inland fishing communities that are heavily dependent on fish for food and revenue derived from the sale of fishing licences and from fish exports. While this is not a recent phenomenon in some regions, information available to FAO from country reports and discussions in fora such as the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) indicates that the incidence and depth of IUU fishing is increasing, sometimes at the expense of impoverished small-scale fishers.
It has also been noted by some countries that IUU fishing seriously prejudices the interests of commercial fishers who abide by their national and regional authorizations to fish.20 This occurs because IUU fishers do not face the same constraints in terms of operating costs, catch limits, etc, nor do IUU fishers implement the same safety standards for fishing and support vessels and crews as is required by their counterparts who do not engage in IUU fishing.
20 Some governments are inclining to the view that IUU fishing is no longer a ‘soft or administrative offence' and that such fishing should be regarded as a more serious offence. This notion is being promulgated with the view that those fishers who engage in illegal and unreported fishing should be subject to more severe sanctions than at the present time.
INTERNATIONAL ACTION TO COMBAT IUU FISHING
FAO has been at the forefront of international efforts and action to address IUU fishing. The 1999 Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries21 states, inter alia , that countries would develop a global plan of action to deal effectively with all forms of IUU fishing including fishing vessels flying “flags of convenience”. This seminal Declaration set the international stage for efforts to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and provided the impetus and framework for FAO to pursue a structured suite of activities relating to the elaboration of an IPOA-IUU.
21 Adopted in 1999 by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries, FAO, Rome.
From 1999 onwards, all Sessions of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) have addressed the effects and impacts of IUU fishing on world fish stocks. In March 2001, following its adoption by the Twenty-fourth Session of COFI, the IPOA-IUU was endorsed by the Hundred and Twentieth Session of the FAO Council in June 2001. Subsequently, in November 2003 the FAO Conference considered a report on IUU fishing.22 The extract from the Conference Report on IUU fishing and Resolution 6/2003 are in Appendix 1. In March 2005 the Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries adopted the 2005 Rome Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Ministers and Ministers' representatives attending the meeting made a wide range of commitments, some of which were time bound, to combat IUU fishing. The 2005 Declaration is in Appendix 2.
22 FAO. November 2003. Progress Report on the Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. FAO Conference paper C 2003/21. The Conference was “… invited to recognise the severe and adverse impacts of IUU fishing on efforts to achieve long-term sustainability in fisheries, to reaffirm its commitment to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing in all its forms, and to give full effect to the implementation of the IPOA-IUU.”
Following the adoption of the 1999 Rome Declaration on Responsible Fisheries and the IPOA-IUU, growing international concern about IUU fishing led the issue to be addressed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Indeed, IUU fishing has been considered each year since 2000 in UNGA resolutions.23 These resolutions have, inter alia :
23 See UNGA resolutions A/RES/55/7 (2000); A/RES/55/8 (2000); A/RES/56/12 (2001); A/RES/57/141 (2002), A/RES/57/142 (2002), A/RES/58/14 (2003) and A/RES/59/25 (2004).
Within the ambit of the United Nations, IUU fishing has also been reviewed by all sessions of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) since its inception in 2000. The reports of these meetings, which are forwarded annually to the UNGA for consideration, have noted, inter alia :
With a sharp focus on fisheries issues and the need to secure sustainable outcomes in the fisheries sector as promulgated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED),24 the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) addressed, inter alia , the scope and effects of IUU fishing. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which also reflects certain decisions adopted by COFI, called for States to implement the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related IPOAs and guidelines. Significantly, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation25 urges that States implement by 2004 national and, where appropriate, regional plans of action to give effect to the IPOA-IUU.
24 Agenda 21 provides the principles and a programme of action for achieving sustainable development.
25 The Plan also specifies deadlines for five fisheries issues including the development and implementation of national and regional plans of action to put into effect the IPOA for the management of fishing capacity by 2005; the establishment of representative networks of marine protected areas by 2012; and the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries by 2010; the restoration of depleted stocks not later than 2015.
Furthermore, to enhance the implementation of the IPOA-IUU and to reduce the incidence of IUU fishing and fishing fleet overcapacity, the Johannesburg Plan of Action urged States to establish effective MCS systems for fishing vessels, including by flag States and to eliminate subsidies paid to the fishing industry that contribute to IUU fishing.
At the regional level, as noted above, many RFMOs and other organizations that do not have specific fisheries management functions, are directing attention to IUU fishing. In addition to keeping IUU fishing under review and heightening their Members' awareness about the problem, some RFMOs and international organizations have discussed, made recommendations and passed resolutions on IUU fishing as a means of condemning and combating it. Some RFMOs, in their efforts to combat IUU fishing, have taken measures, inter alia , to:
26 In paragraph 80 of the IPOA-IUU, measures that States might adopt through RFMOs to take action to strengthen and develop innovative ways to combat IUU fishing are proposed. These measures include institutional strengthening, development of compliance measures, mandatory reporting, cooperation in the exchange of information, development and maintenance of records of fishing vessels, using trade information to monitor IUU fishing, MCS, boarding and inspection schemes, observer programmes, market-related measures, definition of circumstances in which vessels are deemed to have engaged in IUU fishing, education and public awareness programmes, development of action plans, examination of chartering arrangements, exchange of information on an annual basis among RFMOs, estimation of the extent, magnitude and character of IUU fishing in the convention area, records of vessels authorized to fish and records of vessels engaged in IUU fishing.
27 Some RFMOs have also adopted resolutions relating to fishing by non-parties on stocks subject to management with a view to seeking their cooperation to halt their IUU fishing activities.
The need to address IUU fishing on all fronts and in all its forms continues to be a major focus of attention. The international fisheries community acknowledges the gravity of such fishing and its environmental, economic and social consequences.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IPOA-IUU
IUU fishing flourishes primarily because many States fail to meet their obligations under international law with respect to flag State control. In a world where States exercised effective control over fishing vessels flying their flags the incidence of IUU fishing would be greatly reduced. However, States are not meeting their flag State obligations either because they are unable or unwilling to do so. This situation has necessitated that the international community look beyond conventional solutions to combat IUU fishing and adopt and implement a wider and more innovative suite of measures that are important secondary defences when flag States do not meet their international obligations. Indeed, this was one of the fundamental reasons why FAO Members opted to elaborate the IPOA-IUU.
The IPOA-IUU is a voluntary instrument concluded within the framework of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The IPOA-IUU is a comprehensive instrument that may be viewed as a “toolbox” whereby a State can “mix and match” or “tailor” measures contained in the IPOA to meet its particular IUU fishing needs and challenges. In a flexible way, and as appropriate, the IPOA-IUU urges that measures be taken by:
In addition, the IPOA-IUU addresses: internationally agreed market-related measures; research; the role of RFMOs in combating IUU fishing; the special requirements of developing countries; reporting on progress with the implementation of the IPOA-IUU; and the role of FAO.
In late 2002, many countries reported to FAO that IUU fishing impacts their efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries.28 Moreover, about one third of the FAO Membership stated that such fishing is problematic and is hampering their efforts to implement the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
28 See FAO Committee on Fisheries document COFI/2003/3 Rev.1 Progress in the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related International Plans of Action. FAO. Rome. 28p. In view of the seriousness of the IUU fishing, COFI recommended that IUU fishing be included on the Agenda of the Thirty-second Session of the FAO Conference with a view to calling attention of Members to this issue. As noted above, this recommendadtion was accepted, culmininating in the adoption of FAO Conference Resoulution 6/2003.
In their reporting, Members advised FAO that IUU fishing occurs in both marine and freshwater capture fisheries, but that the extent and full impact of IUU fishing is not well known in all cases. In addition, Members reported on the types of IUU fishing being encountered in their fisheries. Such types of fishing include:
In their efforts to curb IUU fishing, Members have taken measures to:29
29 This information is taken from written information provided to FAO in 2002 and from discussions at the Twenty-fifth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. It should be noted that this long list of measures is largely confined to a limited number of countries.
Forty-seven Members indicated to FAO that they had taken steps towards developing and implementing their NPOAs.30 Twenty-three Members indicated that they would finalize their NPOAs in the near future while a further 18 Members reported that their NPOAs would be completed before the 2004 deadline.31
30 As provided for in paragraphs 25 to 27 of the IPOA-IUU.
31 This deadline was June 2004, three years after the adoption of the IPOA-IUU by the FAO Council. According to information available to FAO, less than 20 countries met the deadline for the elaboration of their NPOAs-IUU.
For monitoring and reporting on progress with the implementation of the IPOA-IUU, Members, RFMOs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are invited to report to FAO every two years in the context of their reporting relating to the implementation of the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. An analysis of the information provided by respondents is important in that it:
In 2004 FAO Members, RFMOs and international NGOs were again requested to report on their activities for the implementation of the Code and its related instruments.32 Importantly, there were not major differences in the scope and nature of the IUU fishing problems being encountered between the two reporting periods. However, at the 2005 Session of COFI, in contrast to the previous Session, a significant number of recommendations were made by the Committee.33 In doing COFI:
32 See FAO Committee on Fisheries document COFI/2005/2. Progress in the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related International Plans of Action. FAO. Rome. 15p.
33 See FAO. 2005. Report of the Twenty-sixth of the Committee on Fisheries. FAO Fisheries Report No. 789. FAO. Rome. 88p.
A further report to COFI by FAO as part of its monitoring responsibilities for the Code of Conduct and its related instruments will be made at its 2007 Session.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING TO COMBAT IUU FISHING
The serious effects of IUU fishing on responsible fisheries prompted countries, in adopting the 1999 Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, to take action to elaborate an IPOA-IUU to deal effectively with such fishing. The elaboration and implementation of NPOAs-IUU, which give effect at the national and regional levels to the IPOA-IUU, presupposes that countries have the technical and financial means to do so. The IPOA-IUU recognizes34 the special requirements of developing countries, in particular the least development among them and small-island developing States, in terms of the financial, technical and other assistance needed to meet their commitments under the IPOA-IUU and other obligations under international law.
34 Part V of the IPOA-IUU.
The challenges presented by IUU fishing have generated bilateral and multilateral responses to assist developing countries enhance their capacities to address these challenges. Bilateral assistance, very often of a practical and “hands on” nature, has been provided to countries in a number of key areas including, inter alia , monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) and vessel monitoring systems (VMS) training, improving vessel boarding and inspection procedures, enhancing observer programmes, implementing catch documentation schemes and strengthening port inspection procedures. Multilateral cooperation is also growing, especially in MCS-related areas concerning the real-time sharing of information, through such initiatives as the International MCS Network. These bilateral or multilateral strategic initiatives are likely to be maintained, expanded and deepened through time as a means of enhancing national capacities in developing countries. It is anticipated that through time these initiatives will assist in closing weaker “links” in the IUU fishing chain that IUU fishers seek to exploit.
FAO targets activities in developing countries so as to build capacity and strengthen institutions in promoting long-term sustainable fisheries. Information available to FAO concerning the implementation of the IPOA-IUU indicates that many developing Members are in need of technical assistance to enhance their capacities to elaborate and implement their NPOAs-IUU.
The IPOA-IUU proposes that FAO, in cooperation with relevant international financial institutions and mechanisms (IFIs), should assist developing countries implement the IPOA-IUU. The proposed FAO activities include the:
FAO has been providing assistance to developing countries in these four areas as part of its Regular Programme and trust-fund activities. FAO has:
35 Collection of basic data on catches, fishing effort and prices provide important indicators for a wide variety of fisheries applications. In addition, more detailed data (fishing vessels, gear and operations; socio-economic data; etc.) from regularly conducted fishery surveys are an important source of fishery information of wide utility and scope.
The IPOA-IUU further calls on FAO to:
Since the FAO Council endorsement of the IPOA-IUU, FAO has undertaken, and is undertaking, activities designed to heighten international awareness about the scope and impact of IUU fishing, its adverse impacts on sustainable fisheries and the management efforts of RFMOs and as a means of supporting initiatives to combat such fishing. These activities include the:
36 This document is designed to sensitize fishers and fishing communities to the effects of IUU fishing. FAO, on a request basis, also prepares papers for a general readership together with and inputs for FAO and non-FAO training courses concerning IUU fishing and how problems flowing from such fishing might be addressed through the implementation of the IPOA-IUU.
37 This meeting was held in La Jolla, USA in January 2002.
38 Held at FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy from 4 to 6 November 2002. The IMO participated in this Consultation. FAO also maintains a dialogue with IMO on a broad range of fisheries-related matters.
39 The objectives of the Consultation, convened in Miami, USA, in September 2003 were (i) to raise awareness among flag States of IUU fishing problems associated with the operation of open registries for fishing vessels and (ii) identify modalities through which flag States can give effect to measures to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
Recognizing the linkage between IUU fishing and fishing fleet overcapacity, FAO convened a Technical Consultation in June 2004 to review progress with, and promote the full implementation of, the IPOA-IUU and the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity.40 The major recommendations adopted by the Technical Consultation are in Appendix 3.
40 See FAO. Report of the Technical Consultation to Review Progress and Promote the Full Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity. FAO Fisheries Report No. 753. FAO. Rome. 43p.
A further and fertile area for work that might be initiated in countries as a means of combating IUU fishing is the development of dialogue and partnerships between governments and industry as a means of combating such fishing. Some countries are already focussing on such partnerships to encourage industry to assist in solving IUU fishing problems. This development is highly positive and should be encouraged.
As opportunities present themselves FAO also participates in international and national meetings to disseminate information about the implementation of the IPOA-IUU and the steps that countries should take to develop NPOAs and to combat IUU fishing. This is an important means of sensitizing stakeholders about their respective roles in the implementation process, forging and bolstering partnerships and promoting transparency.
IUU fishing occurs in all marine and inland capture fisheries. It is a severe problem in many fisheries because it undermines the capacity of national administrations and RFMOs to sustainably manage fisheries. It is for this reason that the international community has given high priority to combating IUU fishing wherever it occurs and in all of its forms.
FAO has taken a leading role in the international action to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. At the request of its Members FAO in 2001 concluded an IPOA-IUU to address such fishing. Since then IUU fishing and the need to effectively implement the IPOA-IUU has been underscored by all major fishery meetings, RFMOs, the UNGA and WSSD.
The implementation of the IPOA-IUU requires that NPOAs-IUU be elaborated and put in place. This places an additional burden on fishery administrations and RFMOs, many of which are already suffering from “implementation fatigue”. Significantly, the IPOA-IUU recognizes the need to assist developing countries meet the requirements of the international plan through its provisions relating to the special requirements of developing States.
IUU fishing is not a new phenomenon. It has plagued fisheries management and deprived resources owners of revenue for decades. However, the incidence of IUU fishing is increasing as more fish stocks decline and tighter fisheries management arrangements are introduced. These trends are unlikely to change in the near future. This means that IUU fishing will continue at levels that undermine efforts to implement responsible and sustainable fisheries practices. Vigilance and closer international cooperation is needed at all levels if IUU fishing is to be prevented, deterred and eliminated as foreseen in the IPOA-IUU.
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION TO PREVENT, DETER AND ELIMINATE ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED (IUU) FISHING
“71. It was recalled that the Council at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session agreed that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing be included in the Agenda of the Conference in order to underscore the importance of this issue for decision-makers both within and outside the fisheries sector.
72. Members reiterated that the continuing high and growing incidence of IUU fishing and the lack of effective implementation of the International Plan of Action (IPOA) on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU) had far-reaching adverse consequences for the sustainable management of fishery resources and the livelihoods of small-scale fishers. This situation was aggravated by, inter alia , the use of vessels flying “flags of convenience”, fishing overcapacity, and lack of political will and/or resources for addressing IUU fishing problems effectively. In some instances, States had shown a lack of commitment to meet their obligations under international law.
73. Many Members reported on measures being taken to combat IUU fishing, including better port State and flag State control, recognition of the principle of “genuine link” in relation to the duty of States to exercise effective control over ships flying their flags, enhanced monitoring, control and surveillance and vessel monitoring systems, strengthening of regional fisheries management organizations, and improved legal frameworks and institutional arrangements.
74. The Conference acknowledged that responsibility for combating IUU fishing rested primarily with States but that this would be greatly facilitated by strengthening regional fisheries management organizations and collaboration among States, as well as by the acceptance of the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement by States. In this regard, Members highlighted the need for capacity- and institution-building in developing countries for the elaboration and implementation of National Plans of Action on IUU Fishing. FAO was commended for its work in combating IUU fishing and was urged to continue to assist in promoting the implementation of the IPOA-IUU, particularly in developing countries. Some Members welcomed the designation of FAO as the implementing office for the Assistance Fund under Part VII of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement established within the UN System to support Developing States Parties in their efforts to implement the Agreement.
75. Members expressed their interest to participate in the June 2004 Technical Consultations to review progress and promote full implementation of the IPOA-IUU and the IPOA-Capacity. Members also stressed the importance of examining issues related to subsidies in the fisheries sector. Noting the adverse trends in world fisheries and their multiple negative impacts on livelihoods and food security, the Conference agreed that there was urgent need to stimulate further action towards full implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other relevant international instruments. Members requested the Director-General to convene a high-level meeting, preferably at the Ministerial level, to address these concerns.
76. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Progress Report on Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
Noting the continuing high and growing incidence of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and related activities and the lack of political will and capacity by some Governments to deal effectively with such fishing;
Noting the lack of commitment by some States to meet their obligations under international law;
Noting further that IUU fishing seriously undermined national, regional and international efforts to achieve long-term sustainability in fisheries;
Recalling the adoption on 11 March 1999 of the Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries at the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries wherein it was agreed, inter alia , that States would develop a global plan of action to deal effectively with all forms of IUU fishing including fishing vessels flying “flags of convenience”;
Noting further the increasing incidence of vessels flying “flags of convenience” and the inability or lack of will on the part of some countries to apply any controls over the vessels they flag;
Recalling the endorsement of the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU) by the Hundred and Twentieth Session of the FAO Council on 23 June 2001 wherein States were encouraged to develop and implement, as soon as possible but not later than three years after the adoption of the International Plan of Action, national plans of action to further achieve its objectives and to give full effect to its provisions as an integral part of their fisheries management programmes and budgets;
Recalling the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted on 4September 2002 by the World Summit on Sustainable Development wherein States were urged to implement the FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing through national and, where appropriate, regional plans of action by 2004;
Recalling the relevant provisions of Resolutions (A/58/L.18 and A/58/L.19) on Oceans and the Law of the Sea adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 24 November 2003:
Urges , as a matter of priority and urgency, States that have not done so to accept, accede to, or ratify, as appropriate, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement and to implement and give full effect to the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the international plans of action and fisheries management guidelines developed in the framework of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;
Calls upon States to ensure that they exercise full and effective control over fishing vessels flying their flags, in accordance with international law, to combat IUU fishing and to implement the IPOA-IUU;
Encourages States, and as appropriate, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), to develop and implement National, and as appropriate, Regional Plans of Action to combat IUU fishing as soon as possible, but no later than 2004;
Urges States, to the greatest extent possible, to take measures or cooperate to ensure that nationals subject to their jurisdiction do not support or engage in IUU fishing;
Requests port States to take measures, in accordance with international law, to combat IUU fishing and as a means of implementing the IPOA-IUU;
Urges that States take all steps necessary, consistent with international law, to prevent fish caught by vessels identified by relevant RFMOs to have been engaged in IUU fishing being traded or imported into their territories;
Calls upon States to ensure compliance with and enforcement of policies and measures having a bearing on IUU fishing which are adopted by any relevant RFMOs;
Encourages States to participate actively in the inter-governmental Technical Consultations to review progress towards full implementation of the IPOA-IUU and the IPOA-Capacity to be organised by the FAO in June 2004;
Encourages the full participation of stakeholders in combating IUU fishing, including industry, fishing communities, and non-governmental organizations;
Invites relevant competent international organizations to study, examine and clarify the role of the “genuine link” in relation to the duty of flag States to exercise effective control over ships flying their flag, including fishing vessels;
Encourages States, the FAO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), RFMOs and other relevant competent international organizations dealing with maritime issues to cooperate in the development of measures to combat IUU fishing, including through the sharing of information, and
Encourages States, on their own initiative, or with the support of FAO and relevant international financial institutions and mechanisms, where appropriate, to cooperate to support training and capacity building and consider providing financial, technical and other assistance to developing countries, including in particular the least developed among them and small island developing States, so that they can more fully meet their commitments under the IPOA-IUU and obligations under international law, including their duties as flag States and port States. Such assistance should be directed in particular to help such States in the development and implementation of national plans of action in accordance with paragraph 25 of the IPOA-IUU.”
THE 2005 ROME DECLARATION ON ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING
Adopted by the
FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries
Rome, 12 March 2005
We, the Ministers and Ministers' representatives , meeting in Rome at the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries on 12 March 2005,
Bearing in mind the principles and rules of international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,
Noting with satisfaction the entry into force on 11 December 2001 of the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and the entry into force on 24 April 2003 of the FAO Compliance Agreement,
Recalling the relevant provisions of other international instruments, such as the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Chapter 17 of Agenda 21; the 2000 United Nations Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals; and the 2002 Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation,
Reaffirming our commitment to the principles and standards contained in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries,
Recalling the adoption on 11 March 1999 of the Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries at the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries, as well as the endorsement of the 2001 FAO International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU),
Recalling as well the resolution on IUU fishing adopted by the FAO Conference in 2003,
Desiring to move from words to action through full implementation of various international instruments for sustainable fisheries adopted or enacted in the past decades,
Noting the harmful and worldwide consequences of IUU fishing on the sustainability of fisheries (ranging from large-scale high seas fisheries to small-scale artisanal fisheries), on the conservation of marine living resources and marine biodiversity as a whole and on the economies of developing countries and their efforts to develop sustainable fisheries management,
Recognizing that there is often a relationship between fleet overcapacity and IUU fishing and acknowledging the economic incentives that drive these phenomena,
Acknowledging the genuine development aspirations and legitimate efforts of developing countries, in particular small island developing States, toward the sustainable management and development of their fisheries sectors,
Emphasizing the responsibility of flag States under international law to effectively control and manage vessels flying their flags, as well as the responsibilities of port and coastal States in controlling IUU fishing,
Aware that effective fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) is essential to combat IUU fishing and that integrated MCS, including satellite monitoring systems (VMS), as well as a comprehensive global record of fishing vessels within FAO, are key tools in this endeavour,
Recognizing the need to strengthen international cooperation for the development of VMS so as to implement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and protect and assist fishermen in danger and the assistance that FAO may provide in harmonizing VMS to members who request it,
Recognizing the special requirements of developing countries in combating IUU fishing and, in particular, the need to strengthen their capacity for fisheries management, and
Reaffirming the commitment to enhance responsible and effective fisheries management, to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing and to strengthen, improve, and where appropriate establish, MCS programmes including VMS,
We declare that:
We are committed to concentrating and intensifying our efforts to implement fully all the international instruments for the sustainable use of marine living resources.
We reaffirm the need for FAO to play a leading role in supporting the efforts of States to implement these instruments, with particular emphasis placed on assisting developing countries.
We will renew our efforts:
to develop and implement national and regional plans of action to combat IUU fishing,
to adopt, review and revise, as appropriate, relevant national legislation and regulations, in particular to ensure compliance with fisheries management measures and to provide sanctions of sufficient gravity as to deprive offenders of the benefits accruing from their illegal activities and to deter further IUU fishing,
to ensure effective implementation of catch certification schemes through their harmonization and improvement as necessary,
to adopt internationally agreed market-related measures in accordance with international law, including principles, rights, and obligations established in WTO agreements, as called for in the IPOA-IUU,
to ensure that all fisheries policy-makers and managers consider the full range of available MCS options, strategies and tools; take necessary actions to fully implement the IPOAs and any applicable MCS measures adopted by relevant regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs); and that fishers have an understanding of their role in MCS,
to ensure that States, to the greatest extent possible, take measures or cooperate to ensure that nationals subject to their jurisdiction do not support or engage in IUU fishing, and
to ensure that all large-scale fishing vessels operating on the high seas be required by their flag State to be fitted with VMS no later than December 2008, or earlier if so decided by their flag State or any relevant RFMO.
We call for the following new actions:
to identify, reduce and ultimately eliminate the economic incentives that lead to IUU fishing and the economic drivers that lead to fleet overcapacity, at the national, regional and global levels,
to ensure that measures to address IUU fishing or fleet overcapacity in one fishery or area do not result in the creation of fleet overcapacity in another fishery or area or otherwise undermine the sustainability of fish stocks in another fishery or area, and that such measures do not prejudice the legitimate expansion of fleets in developing countries in a sustainable manner,
to develop a comprehensive global record of fishing vessels within FAO, including refrigerated transport vessels and supply vessels, that incorporates available information on beneficial ownership, subject to confidentiality requirements in accordance with national law,
to work within RFMOs to facilitate, where appropriate, the exchange of VMS and observer data, subject to confidentiality requirements in accordance with national law, and
to supplement existing MCS schemes through measures such as encouraging the fishing fleet to report any suspected IUU fishing activities they observe.
We agree upon the need:
for flag States, port States, coastal States and, where appropriate, RFMOs to effectively regulate transhipment in order to combat IUU fishing activities and to prevent laundering of illegal catches,
for States, as well as NGOs and members of the fishing industry, to exchange information on suspected IUU fishing, if possible on a real-time basis, in collaboration with FAO, RFMOs and other relevant arrangements, and by actively participating in the International MCS Network,
to develop and ensure effective implementation of national and, where appropriate, internationally agreed boarding and inspection regimes consistent with international law,
to strengthen coastal and port State measures for fishing vessels, consistent with international law, in order to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing,
for further international action to eliminate IUU fishing by vessels flying “flags of convenience” as well as to require that a “genuine link” be established between States and fishing vessels flying their flags,
to strengthen RFMOs to ensure that they are more effective in preventing, deterring and eliminating IUU fishing, and
to fully implement vessel marking requirements in accordance with the FAO Standard Specification and Guidelines for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels and any applicable RFMO requirements.
We urge all States:
that have not yet done so to become parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement and the 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement, and abide by their provisions,
to ensure that they exercise full and effective control over fishing vessels flying their flag, in accordance with international law, to combat IUU fishing,
that are parties to the FAO Compliance Agreement to fulfil their obligations to submit to FAO, for inclusion in the High Seas Vessel Authorization Record, data on vessels entitled to fly their flags that are authorized to be used for fishing on the high seas, and those that are not yet parties to the FAO Compliance Agreement to submit such data on a voluntary basis, and
to supply detailed information on fishing vessels flying their flag to relevant RFMOs, in accordance with the requirements adopted by those RFMOs, and to establish such requirements within RFMOs where they do not yet exist.
We further urge additional research, as well as enhanced international cooperation including appropriate transfer of technology, in remote sensing and satellite surveillance of fishing vessels to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, particularly in remote areas with lack of deployment of MCS facilities.
We also urge:
the provision of additional assistance to developing countries to help them implement their commitments in preventing, deterring and eliminating IUU fishing, as well as to participate effectively in the development and implementation of fishery conservation and management measures by RFMOs, and
the provision of advice and training to promote the development of fisheries management regimes, at the national and local levels, to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, including community-based fisheries management in countries where such fisheries management is practiced, recognizing, where appropriate, the role of local coastal communities in the management of near-shore resources, particularly in developing countries.
We resolve to provide financial and technical assistance to developing countries in the implementation of MCS capabilities, including VMS, with the support of FAO and relevant international financial institutions and mechanisms, and to consider the establishment of a special voluntary fund for this purpose.
WE REQUEST that the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations convey this Declaration to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for consideration by that organization.
MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TECHNICAL CONSULTATION
The Consultation reaffirmed the importance of the Resolution “Progress Report on Implementation of the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing” adopted last year at the FAO Conference (6/2003) and identified the following recommendations for consideration by the 26th COFI 2005 and the following FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries to ensure effective and full implementation of the resolution as well as IPOA-IUU and IPOA-capacity;
1. To reaffirm the importance of the paragraph 12 of the resolution and to apply this paragraph also to implementation of IPOA-capacity, in particular taking account of the needs.
- To ensure full utilization of possible financial and technical sources including relevant FAO programmes, bilateral fishery assistance and the Fund established pursuant to Part VII of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement for the enhancement of necessary capacities of evaluation of stocks, their sustainable management and their control.
- To invite FAO to reinforce its assistance to developing counties for formulation and implementation of their fisheries management and development policies and definition of their specific needs.
- To invite States whose nationals have fishing activities in developing countries' waters to assure the cooperation in partnership with those countries.
2. To promote cooperation and harmonization of minimum standards among coastal States at a regional level where appropriate for sustainable management of shared fish stocks and invite FAO to explore a possible use of regional coordinators in FAO programmes for such promotion.
3. To invite States, either directly, through RFMOs, through other regional or sub-regional arrangements, to develop measures to control flagging and re-flagging of fishing vessels to flag States not duly fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the relevant provisions of the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement or additional requirements of such RFMOs or regional arrangements or duties deriving from relevant IPOAs.
4. To request States either directly, through RFMOs, through other regional or subregional arrangements, to develop measures to control and monitor transshipment of catches at sea.
5. To urge FAO and all Parties of the 1993 FAO Compliance Agreement to implement promptly the Article VI of the Agreement and all non-Parties to take actions consistent with the Article immediately.
6. To request RFMOs that have not already done so to consider, as a matter of priority, the assessment of capacity and the development and implementation of capacity management schemes in conjunction with other appropriate management measures for fisheries under their purview, taking into account all relevant factors and in a manner consistent with the rights and obligations of all states under international law.
7. In parallel to implementation of paragraph 10 of the resolution, to request FAO to study and assess fishery management aspect of the “genuine link” issue as invited by UNGA Resolution 58–240 as a matter of priority , in particular to determine beneficial ownership of fishing vessels used in IUU fishing operations.
8. In recognition of the range of work being undertaken by various RFMOs on the IUU fishing and over-capacity issues, call on the FAO to promote coordination on such work, to establish a database of the available information including any available list of IUU vessels identified and publicized by RFMOs and to make information on IUU fishing available through the FAO Fisheries internet site.
9. To invite the FAO to integrate and analyze information and data regarding IUU fishing and fishing capacity from multiple sources, and to identify information and data gaps, in order to develop a global picture of IUU fishing and over-capacity.
10. To recommend that RFMOs consider invitation of third party expert auditors to review and provide recommendations and expert advice with respect both to the range of conservation and management measures adopted by the RFMO and to the effective implementation of these measures.
11. To encourage States to take all necessary steps to ensure that state agencies involved in the registration of fishing vessels and the authorisation of the importation and exportation of fish and fish products co-ordinate their activities with a view to identifying and closing gaps which may aid IUU fishing and the trade in fish harvested and fish products produced as a result of IUU fishing.
12. To invite COFI to make sure that the obligations in Article 48 of the IPOA-capacity and in Article 93 in the IPOA-IUU are fully complied with. To that end, it is necessary to assess the value of the national plans of action in relation to their effects on fisheries, to promote better fisheries practices and to ensure that the required reduction of fishing mortality on targeted fish stocks will be achieved in due time.
13. Request States to review the sanctions against IUU fishing available under their national laws in order to ensure that such sanctions function as a sufficient deterrent to IUU fishing wherever it occurs, taking account of all relevant information including available guidance for such review.
14. To recommend that RFMOs adopt effective measures to enhance compliance by contracting parties to RFMOs, pursuant to paragraph 84 of the IPOA-IUU.
15. In conformity with paragraph 25 of the IPOA-IUU, encourage all States and all interested stakeholders including industry, fishing communities and non-governemental organizations to implement the national plans of action as soon as possible, and to actively participate, with the full support of FAO, in the international network of cooperation and coordination of the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities, in accordance with resolutions 28, 28.1 and 28.2 of the IPOA-IUU.
16. Invite State to collect, exchange and disclose to the extent possible under domestic law, information on the activities of international business entities such as trading companies undermining effectiveness of the IPOAs so that the concerned States and fishing entities can take appropriate cooperative actions to prevent such activities
17. To encourage all States either directly through RFMOs through other regional and subregional organizations and in conformity with Section II of the IPOA-capacity, to implement the national plans of action as soon as possible taking due account of the special requirements of developing countries including those for small-scale fisheries.