Mr Simon Funge-Smith described the process of the organization and expected outcomes of the workshop. The objectives of the workshop were to build a commitment to reducing fishing capacity across all
overexploited fisheries (including eliminating IUU fishing). To achieve this objective, the workshop would consider 4 main themes:
In particular, the workshop would examine the need to reduce fishing capacity in both large-scale and small-scale fisheries and the current status and actions of the APFIC member countries and regional organizations would be discussed. Mechanisms and tools for managing fishing capacity, including IUU fishing would be reviewed in a series of technical presentations and discussion sessions.
The introduction stressed that there is general recognition of the problem of overcapacity in the region and there was a clear emerging commitment to address these issues. This is witnessed by the recently endorsed "Regional Plan of Action for Responsible Fishing and IUU fishing" and the endorsement by the SEAFDEC council at its last session to work on the development of regional fisheries management arrangements.
The workshop was organized into sessions covering invited technical presentations, country papers and working group discussions2, 3. The workshop was also informed by country papers and posters describing current status and actions to improve the management of fishing capacity and IUU fishing.
2 The workshop agenda is in Annex I.
3 The participant's list can be found in Annex III.
The workshop also used a process of working groups to elaborate responses to a number of key issues:
It was noted that the action plan developed as an outcome of this consultative workshop would be used to guide the work of APFIC and its members as well as the participating regional organizations.
Gary Morgan (FAO Consultant)
This presentation was based on responses to questionnaires and previously available information. It examined progress in how the region was addressing fishing capacity and IUU fishing issues. National Plans of Action (NPOAs) on fishing capacity were now more common than in 2002 in the region and some progress had been made in assessing fishing capacity in major fisheries, particularly small-scale fisheries. In addition, the number of specific capacity reduction programmes undertaken in the region had increased since 2002, again with the emphasis on small-scale fisheries.
Despite this, the effectiveness, on a regional scale, of these initiatives was not yet apparent since fishing capacity in both industrial and small-scale fisheries had continued to rise in the region and was now, on average, 12.5 percent above 2002 levels. Production had also decreased in the majority of fisheries for which data was provided. The issue of a lack of policy and operational tools was highlighted, including only 50 percent of fisheries having management plans and generally poorly developed monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) capabilities. The presentation noted that IUU fishing remained a major issue in the region, noting that the 2007 "Regional Plan of Action for Responsible Fisheries" provided a possible template for regional action and coordination on this matter.
Following the presentation it was proposed that the term "capacity management" was more appropriate that "capacity reduction" given that there was the possibility of increasing fishing capacity in some fisheries in some countries. Participants agreed that "capacity management" was preferable terminology even though there were few opportunities for increasing fishing capacity in marine fisheries in most countries in the region.