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11. The Meeting considered the status of fishery resources of the SWIO region excluding tuna and tuna-like species. On the basis of national reports and document SAFR/DM/SWIO/00/2, the following main issues were discussed:

12. Regarding the characteristics of fisheries, subsistence, artisanal, semi-industrial and a few industrial fisheries were directed to non-tuna resources in the region. Countries used low technology gear to harvest multispecies fisheries, providing the main source of fish protein supply to local populations. Non-tuna resources were the main source of employment and subsistence in the region although these same resources were difficult to manage by conventional management techniques.

13. It was noted that available catch trends give indicative levels of exploitation of stocks:

14. Catch trends and non-tuna resources were impacted by a number of factors:

15. Inadequate management resources often resulted in fisheries without control. The Meeting expressed the view that the following initiatives could contribute to sustainability of the fisheries resources in the region:

16. Species observed in national catches are similar across the region. It was agreed that, in this region, the concept of a `stock' was unclear as there was little scientific information on the genetics or movements of fish upon which it could be based. Nevertheless, likely transboundary fish species include among others: trevallies, mackerel, sharks, small pelagic fish, lobsters and shrimps. The Meeting identified possible transboundary fisheries issues in the region:

17. It was acknowledged that most of the information on fishery resources of the south-west Indian Ocean was collected in the mid 1970s and early 1980s through the activities of East African Marine Fisheries Research Organization (EAMFRO) for the Kenya and Tanzania coastal sector. Extensive trawl and acoustic surveys were conducted with the research vessels "Mesyatsev" and "Fridtjof Nansen" in the waters of the East African Coast and on the Mauritius-Seychelles ridge.

18. The Meeting was informed about the intensive SWIO Fisheries Research Programme funded by UNDP and executed by FAO during the 1980s. However, that there was little exploratory fishing in the region during the 1990s except for the development of the swordfish fishery.

19. The Meeting noted that in certain areas there was inadequate fishing exploration for deepwater fishery resources.

20. The Meeting made the following conclusions:

21. The Meeting recommended, that regional collaboration should be encouraged and strengthened to facilitate the collection, analysis and dissemination of fishery information at national and regional levels and to enable unified management measures for similar and transboundary fisheries.

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