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22. The Meeting noted that transboundary issues were many and related, inter alia to:

23. The Meeting reviewed the role of existing regional organizations in relation to fisheries matters. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) was created in 1997 as a specialized fisheries body dealing strictly with tuna and tuna-like fisheries. Other regional organizations are:

24. The SADC representative reviewed priorities and recent activities related to fisheries matters. Mention was made, inter alia, of:

25. The Meeting noted with interest the result of a recent workshop organized in 1999 by SADC in collaboration with FAO to study the possibility of launching a research programme on the SWIO Large Marine Ecosystem. In this context, the need for wider regional collaboration, extending to all SWIO countries, was stressed.

26. The COI representative reviewed priorities and recent initiatives. Presently, COI is co-ordinating only one project dealing indirectly with fisheries. This EU-funded regional programme is due to end early 2000 and has resulted, inter alia, in the creation of two regional networks for reefs and eco-toxicology. Three projects are presently being developed which relate to MCS, quality control (with the EU) and to the training and qualification of fishermen (with IMO).

27. The Meeting expressed its appreciation of efforts employed by SADC, COI and COMESA in the area of fisheries. The Meeting noted, however, that none of these economic groupings had all the nations of the SWIO area as members.

28. Pointing to the need for strengthened regional collaboration on fisheries and marine environment issues, the Meeting stressed the need to re-establish a specialized fisheries body to which all countries of the SWIO region could participate.

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