1. The Executive Committee of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) held its Seventy-first Session at the Hyatt Aryaduta Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia from 20 to 22 August 2007 under the Chairpersonship of Mr Widi Pratikto, and Mr Jung-hee Cho, Vice-Chairperson. The list of the participants is presented in Appendix A.
2. The outgoing Chairperson, Dato Junaidi bin Che Ayub, Director-General Department of Fisheries Malaysia, welcomed the Members of the Executive Committee and thanked the Committee for their support during his term. On behalf of the members of the Executive Committee he expressed thanks to the Government of Indonesia and personally Mr Widi Pratikto for their hospitality and hosting of this event. The outgoing Chairperson recognized the significant contributions made to APFIC by former APFIC secretary, Mr Derek Staples during his term. He also noted that Mr Simon Funge-Smith as acting secretary had continued this good work. During the term of Malaysia's Chairpersonship, the Commission had started its transformation into a Consultative Forum; this process is ongoing and necessary to better position APFIC to assist member countries in addressing the critical issues of fisheries governance and sustainability. Importantly, APFIC should assist in strengthening regional approaches to dealing with these issues. In concluding, he looked forward to the continued activity of APFIC as a consultative forum under the new chairpersonship of Indonesia.
3. The incoming Chairperson, Mr Widi Pratikto addressed the Committee and thanked them for the privilege of being appointed Chairperson and expressed Indonesia's pleasure at being given this responsibility. He warmly welcomed the participants to Jakarta and stated that Indonesia looked forward to the task of hosting the Second Regional Consultative Forum Meeting and the Thirtieth Session of APFIC and the support of the members during his term. He was confident that APFIC would provide greater awareness of regional fisheries issues and assist members in improving regional coordination and understanding of the needs for better fishery management. Mr Widi Pratikto wished the participants a fruitful meeting and a peaceful stay in Jakarta.
4. The APFIC Acting Secretary, Mr Simon Funge-Smith, welcomed the members of the Executive Committee and the Chief and colleagues of the Policy and Liaison Service (FIEL) of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in Rome, who had come to participate in this important meeting. The APFIC Acting Secretary thanked the retired Secretary Mr Derek Staples, for his contribution to APFIC and friendship during his term. He expressed his anticipation of a productive and fruitful meeting and the need for the Executive Committee's guidance to the Secretariat on the range of decisions and issues relating to the work and functions of the Commission. In briefly reviewing the role of the Executive Committee, he clarified that the Executive Committee should provide recommendations both to the APFIC Secretariat and to the Commission for action and consideration at the next APFIC Session.
5. The incoming Vice-chair, Mr Jung-hee Cho, Republic of Korea, also welcomed the participants and thanked the Government of Indonesia for hosting the session of the Executive Committee. He noted that despite budget constraints, APFIC has managed to provide excellent arrangements for creating awareness and understanding of fisheries issues in the member countries, and looked forward to the constructive outcomes of the Executive Committee's deliberations.