RAP PUBLICATION 2007/16
Fishing capacity management and
Gary Morgan, Derek Staples
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© FAO 2007
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The Senior Fishery Officer
In response to the recommendations of the 29th Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) to assist members improve management of their fishing capacity, APFIC Secretariat convened a regional workshop on “Managing fishing capacity and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Asian region in Phuket, Thailand, from 19 to 21 June 2007. This report has been commissioned as a background paper for this workshop to identify the major issues faced by APFIC Members.
The report provides a regional synthesis based on responses to questionnaires sent to 15 countries in the region in addition to the previously available information. These focused on the current status of the management of fishing capacity and how countries in the region are addressing IUU fishing by both national and foreign fleets. The report shows that there were still many fishing overcapacity issues in the region and that some progress to address these issues is being made. This included the formulation of National Plans of Action (NPOAs) on fishing capacity and attempts to assess fishing capacity and implement fishing capacity reduction programme in major fisheries, particularly small-scale fisheries.
At the regional level, fishing capacity in both industrial and small-scale fisheries has continued to rise and production had also decreased in the majority of fisheries for which data were provided, indicating that the problem still pervades in the region. Identified problems include lack of policy and operational tools as a major constraint to solving the problem, with only 50 percent of the major fisheries having management plan. Very weak vessel licensing systems and catch and effort data systems and monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) capabilities further hamper progress. IUU fishing also remains a major issue in the region, with many Members identifying illegal fishing by both national and foreign fishers in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) as the main issues.
This background report gives a clear picture of the need for action to address capacity management and IUU fishing in the Asia region.
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific