COFI/2001/3





COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES

Twenty-fourth Session

Rome, Italy

26 February-2 March 2001

PROGRESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES AND RELATED INTERNATIONAL PLANS OF ACTION


Table of Contents


SUMMARY

This document focuses on the main activities undertaken by FAO at the global and regional levels to promote the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, activities and applications at national level by FAO Members and initiatives by international organizations and regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs). The review also highlights progress in the implementation of the three international plans of action (IPOAs) on the management of fishing capacity, the reduction of incidental catch of seabirds in long-line fisheries, and the conservation and management of sharks. A few developing countries and several developed countries have made good progress in implementing the Code. A number of RFMOs have reported significant progress in the application of the Code. However, very few countries have initiated action to implement the IPOAs and several countries suggested in their reporting that in future such instruments should include the financial resources for their effective implementation. On the basis of the available information, it is difficult to draw conclusions on just how successful Members have been in implementing the Code and the IPOAs. The Committee may wish to consider in a future session an in-depth assessment of measures taken in selected countries to implement the Code and the IPOAs.

INTRODUCTION

1. Based on the format suggested by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) at its Twenty-third Session1, Governments were requested to report on the activities taken to implement the provisions of the Code. A similar request was sent to international organizations and regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs). In all cases, the questionnaire also sought information concerning actions taken to implement the three international plans of action on the management of fishing capacity (IPOA - Capacity), the reduction of incidental catch of seabirds in long-line fisheries (IPOA - Seabirds), and on the conservation and management of sharks (IPOA - Sharks).

2. As of 1 November 2000, reports had been received from 103 member countries and the European Community, four inter-governmental organizations, 14 RFMOs, and four non-governmental organizations. This document has been prepared drawing on these reports as well as from published and unpublished international reports.2 In synthesizing the country reports, attention has been paid to those national and international activities that appeared to provide useful examples of efforts for promoting responsible fisheries and the major constraints to and practical solutions for the effective implementation for the Code.

3. At the invitation of the Director-General of FAO, delegates from 125 countries and several international organizations attended a Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries which was held at FAO Headquarters in March 1999. The Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was issued, reaffirming the commitment of Members to work with FAO and other organizations towards optimum sustainable use of the world fisheries resources.

ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN BY FAO

4. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries remains the overarching tool and reference point for the activities of the FAO Fisheries Department. FAO has continued to promote the implementation of the Code through numerous regular programme and field project activities (see documents COFI/2001/2 and COFI/2001/Inf.5). In addition to the dissemination of technical guidelines to support implementation3, and discussion in regional fisheries organizations and other international fora, several major follow-up initiatives were facilitated by FAO with its Members and partners during the past two years4.

5. The International Plans of Actions adopted at the last Session of COFI were published in the five official languages. A video "Connecting the Lines, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries" was widely distributed and used in several national and regional workshops for the promotion of the Code. The video has been dubbed into Bambara, a Malian national language with the assistance of FAO executed project. It will also be dubbed into Italian by private sector interests. Power-point features were also developed on the Code and on its specific articles for use in national seminars and workshops.

6. FAO developed two sets of technical guidelines in support of the IPOA on the management of capacity, one dealing specifically with the management of fishing capacity and the other set of guidelines on the measurement of fishing capacity. Moreover, the measurement of fishing capacity was discussed at the 1999 Technical Consultation organized jointly by FAO and the Government of Mexico. In November 2000 delegates from SEAFDEC member countries discussed the implementation of the IPOA-Capacity in a three-day workshop organized jointly by SEAFDEC and the FAO Fisheries Department in Penang, Malaysia. The work of the Fisheries Department in promoting the IPOA-Capacity is supported by Japanese trust funds. This same source of funds was used in 2000 to develop an Internet-site that will provide users with access to experts and information concerning progress in the implementation of the IPOA-Capacity as well as on progress in implementation of the IPOA-Seabirds and the IPOA-Sharks.

7. In the effort to assist countries in developing their national plans of action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries, FAO published a document entitled "The incidental catch of seabirds by longline fisheries: Worldwide review and technical guidelines for mitigation". In addition, FAO staff participated as resource persons at regional meetings where national implementation of the IPOA-seabirds was discussed. FAO sponsored and collaborated with the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council in organizing in New Zealand in November 2000 an International Fisheries Forum on Solving the Incidental Capture in Longline Fisheries. In addition to the sponsorship provided by the New Zealand Government, an FAO sponsorship was also provided by IUCN, Maersk Sealand, and the Conservation Action Fund of New England Aquarium. The purpose was to update information on mitigation measures, as well as information on effective advocacy and education programmes and other initiatives relating to the issue5.

8. With respect to the IPOA-sharks, FAO has prepared technical guidelines to support the implementation of the IPOA. Countries will be able to use these guidelines to develop and implement national plans of action.

9. Several conferences, workshops and technical consultations were organized. The most important ones included:

10. Different aspects of the Code are being addressed by some major donor supported projects and these are summarized in Annex 26:

ACTIVITIES AND APPLICATIONS AT NATIONAL LEVEL

General

11. The list of the 103 Member countries and the European Community, which replied to the questionnaire is provided in Annex 1.

12. The rate of returns of the questionnaires was about 58 percent and, on the basis of FAO regional groupings, it ranged between 38 percent for Europe to 100 percent for North America7.

13. Many countries are focusing on selected key areas without losing the overall holistic perspective of the Code and several countries stressed the need for an integrated and comprehensive approach in addressing capture fisheries and aquaculture issues. Several countries also indicated that the objectives of the Code are extremely relevant to the management and development of their fisheries sector. The greatest relevance is attributed to the Code as an instrument to establish principles and criteria to implement policies for the conservation of fisheries resources and fishery management and development, to promote the contribution of fisheries to food security and food quality giving priority to the nutritional needs of local communities, and to establish principles for responsible fishing and fisheries activities considering all their relevant biological, technical, economical, social, environmental and commercial aspects. The priority rating for specific objectives of the Code are shown in Table 1.

TABLE 1 Priority rating by Member countries for specific objectives of the Code

(a) OBJECTIVES

RATING

1

2

3

4

5

TOTAL

1

Establish principles for responsible fishing and fisheries activities considering all their relevant biological, technical, economic, social, environmental and commercial aspects

3

6

17

21

53

100

2

Establish principles and criteria to implement policies for the conservation of fishery resources and fisheries management and development

2

1

7

28

62

100

3

Serve as an instrument of reference to improve legal and institutional framework for appropriate management measures

2

4

30

35

28

99

4

Provide guidance to formulate and implement international agreements and other legal instruments

10

15

24

26

20

95

5

Facilitate and promote cooperation in the conservation of fishery resources, fisheries management and development

2

4

8

38

44

96

6

Promote the contribution of fisheries to food security and food quality giving priority to the nutritional needs of local communities

2

2

10

23

62

99

7

Promote protection of living aquatic resources and their environments and coastal areas

0

1

18

36

43

98

8

Promote the trade in fish and fishery products in conformity with relevant international rules

0

2

33

43

22

100

9

Promote research on fisheries as well as on associated ecosystems and relevant environmental factors

0

2

10

45

40

97

10

Provide standards of conduct for all involved in the fisheries sector

0

0

25

42

31

98

1= not very relevant 3= relevant 5= extremely relevant

14. Generally, countries assigned the greatest priority to fisheries management, aquaculture development, post-harvest practices and fisheries research. Table 2 indicates the level of priority that countries attach to the substantive themes developed in the Code and in the relevant FAO Technical Guidelines for responsible fisheries.

TABLE 2 Prioritization of themes in the Code by member countries

 

Top Priority

Priority

Low Priority

Fisheries Management

72

20

8

Fishing Operations

35

54

10

Aquaculture Development

52

31

14

Integration of Fisheries into Coastal and Basin Area Management

29

51

17

Post-harvest Practices

46

44

9

Trade

26

62

10

Fisheries Research

45

47

7

Inland Fisheries Development

34

41

24

15. An increasing number of countries have adopted, based on the Code, enabling fisheries regulations and policy measures to promote/enhance sustainable fisheries management and the development of environmentally sound aquaculture8. A limited number of countries have also adapted the Code to national/local conditions and/or produced guidelines to facilitate the application of the Code, while some countries have elaborated Codes of best practices, particularly for government agencies and producers9.

16. Significant efforts were made by several countries to increase awareness among stakeholders of the fisheries and aquaculture sector about the provisions of the Code. The initiatives included the organization of workshops at national and local levels, the adaptation of the Code to national conditions10, the translation of the Code into national and local languages11, the institution of awards for outstanding application of the Code12. However, involvement at the grass roots level in the implementation of the Code still remains low.

Fisheries management

17. Fishery management systems are not well developed in several countries and in particular developing countries. Several countries have developed management plans for marine fisheries13 and for inland fisheries14. In many cases where fisheries management plans have been developed, they do not cover all fisheries, on average less than 50 percent of fisheries are covered. More than 60 percent of the plans are being implemented15. For countries that reported they had established fisheries management plans, they indicated that the plans contained the key fishery management tools such as measures to ensure the level of fishing is commensurate with the state of fishery resources, prohibited destructive fishing methods, addressed fishing capacity including the economic conditions under which the fishing industry operates. Several countries indicated that they have not established stock-specific target points or taken measures to protect biodiversity of aquatic habitats and ecosystems.

18. The stock-specific target reference points have been approached for several fisheries16 but have also been exceeded in a number of cases17. For the latter, measures taken to remedy the situation included the limited access, quota reductions, time and area limitation, gear restrictions, better data collection and stronger enforcement of rules and regulations. Over 70 percent of the responding countries stated that the precautionary approach is applied continually in the provision of management advice, through attention to target reference points, implementation of objective-based fisheries management principles and reduction of quotas.

Fishing operations

19. Over 90 percent of the responding countries stated that fishing licensing is in place to ensure fishing is carried out in an orderly way within waters under their jurisdiction. However, fishing licence in most cases are simply a registration mechanism as no specific management conditions (for example the provision of information on catch data and fishing effort) are attached to the provision of a licence. Other measures mentioned by countries included: the elaboration of management plans, technical guidelines on best practices, fisheries law enforcement, monitoring, control and surveillance and public education.

20. Several countries18 reported on steps they had taken to ensure that the fishing activities of vessels flying their flags in international waters or the waters under the jurisdiction of another state are reported, monitored and carried out in a responsible manner. To this end, licensing of vessels with obligation to report catch together with the application of a vessel monitoring system (VMS), as well as ensuring their vessels respect the rules, regulations and resolutions of regional fishery management organizations, were cited as common control measures. In addition, a number of countries have shown their commitment to such control measures by accepting and even implementing the provisions of the Compliance Agreement, although the instrument is not yet in force19.

21. A number of countries20 have taken measures, to minimize catch at non-target species. These measures include the use of turtle excluding devices, mesh size limitations, confiscation of catches, ban on the landings of juveniles and/or discards, levies on by-catch, season/area closures of fishing grounds to limit by-catch (juveniles, non-target species, non-fish species) and discards. In some countries the permitted levels of by-catch and/or discards have been developed in consultation with the industry21. A few countries have adopted vessel monitoring systems22. In many countries the existing systems cover only a small portion of the national fleet but Canada reported that its system covers the entire fishing fleet. All EC vessels over 24m are covered/equipped with VMS.

Aquaculture development

22. Some countries indicated that legal and institutional frameworks for the development of aquaculture are in place23. Guidelines for best practices have or are being developed in a few countries both by governments and producers24. A limited number of countries have introduced measures on environmental impact assessment and together with risk management approach and the precautionary principle are applied with regards (in particular) the introduction of non-native species, the use of genetically-altered stocks and the development of large size enterprises especially for shrimps25. In many countries however, there is a need to streamline the process to provide increased coherence and consistency, as well as minimize delays.

23. Many countries reported of measures to promote responsible aquaculture in support of rural communities, producer organizations and fish farmers26. The measures include: providing extension and training services to fish farmers, conducting research and surveys, development of separate code of practice for responsible aquaculture business, increased funding for environmental and biological scientific research, creation of special funds for aquaculture development, integration of aquaculture into existing farming practices, organization of fish farmers associations, strict control of the introduction of exotic species.

Integration of fisheries into coastal area management

24. The legal framework for the integration of fisheries into coastal area management exists in many developed countries, but most developing countries do not yet have a specific legal framework for this activity27.

25. Conflicts are a common phenomenon in all countries. The conflicts between coastal and industrial fisheries as well as between gear types operating in the coastal area seem to be widespread and severe. The other types of conflicts seem to be less widespread and are location-specific. The degree/importance of conflicts in the fishing sector and between the fishery sector and other activities is provided in Table 3. Most countries have in place the mechanisms to resolve these conflicts although such mechanisms have not been translated into legislation in the majority of countries.

TABLE 3 Importance of conflicts in the fishing sector and between the fishery Sector and other activities

 

STRONG

MODERATE

LIGHT

NONE

Conflict between coastal fisheries and industrial fisheries

46

22

12

20

Conflict between coastal fisheries and coastal aquaculture

6

10

10

21

Conflict between gear types operating in the coastal area

23

32

40

-

Conflict between fisheries and recreational development

9

12

23

15

Conflict between fisheries and port

development

5

13

19

21

Conflict between fisheries and mineral extraction activities

7

14

11

19

Post-harvest practices and trade

26. Many countries28 reported that an effective food safety and quality-assurance system was in place or was being developed. Measures that have been taken to reduce post-harvest losses and wastes include: implementation of HACCP concepts from harvesting through retail sale, improved use of bycatch, training and demonstration on product development (such as salting, drying, smoking), construction of handling facilities and laboratories for quality assurance, introduction of cost-effective processing devices/techniques, including insulated containers/boxes, and improved chilling and boxing at sea. It was also reported that improved management practices have reduced the race-to-fish thus providing more time and better opportunities for more efficient post-harvest utilization.

27. In many countries processors may easily identify the origin of their raw material but not so for consumers. For a number of developed countries, fish processing plants are expected to keep records identifying both the source of the raw fish received and of the distribution of the finished products. Also all processed fish products must identify the country of origin with the name and address of a processor, importer or distributor, therefore both processors and consumers can identify the origin of the product. This mechanism also serves to discourage that illegally harvested fish are processed or traded.

28. A number of countries29 have legislation, including other measures such as compliance, education and awareness raising programmes, or "foot print" or traceability certification to ensure illegally harvested fisheries resources are not processed or traded. However, the majority of responding countries indicated that there are currently no particular measures (with the exception of education and awareness raising of the issue) to overcome the processing or trade of illegally harvested resources.

Fisheries research

29. Many countries30 reported that reliable estimates were available on the status of stocks, under their jurisdiction, on the average 40 percent of the stocks, although it was reported to be as high as 90 percent of the stocks in South Africa. It was also reported that complete and reliable statistics of catches and fishing effort are being collected although in many cases lack of sufficient qualified personnel to process, analyse and interpret the data is a major problem. Countries (Canada, EC countries, USA) where fisheries management is evolving to ecosystem-based management, highlighted the need for increases in personnel for stock assessment and ecological research.

30. Countries noted that in developing their management plans the following methods were being used to provide information: catch and effort data from commercial and from artisanal fisheries, research vessel surveys, sampling on board commercial vessels (sometimes in port), sentinel surveys (industry-science cooperation programme as in Canada) and telephone surveys in South Africa for recreational fisheries.

31. The main constraints in obtaining data for fisheries management are seen as: too few trained stock assessment scientists and too little coverage by observer programmes, a lack of nation-wide environmental monitoring programmes (this limits the capability to make forecasts), inadequate links between catch against quotas, limited technical, financial and logistical support, inadequate or ineffective statistical programmes and environmental monitoring. The marine environment is said to be routinely monitored in some countries31, while many countries regularly monitor the extent of bycatch and discards principally through on-board observers, remote sensing, and census of seals, birds, etc.

International plans of action

32. A number of countries have begun a preliminary assessment of their national fishing capacity32. The methods used included analyses of fishing permits and licences, selected analyses of capacity utilization, the developments of indicators of excess capacity, data envelopment analysis (Canada), etc. In the effort to maintain or reduce capacity, countries reported the use of the following methods: the application of individual transferable quotas (ITQ), the use of restrictive entry, vessel and permit buy-out, the prohibition to use subsidies to increase capacity and the determination of fishing capacity requirements by the fishing industry itself in the light of their quota holdings. Japan reported that it had scraped the equivalent of 20 percent of its large-scale tuna longline fishing vessels in 1999 and has initiated resource rebuilding plans by species and hoped to reduce fishing capacity for required fishing gear types from 2002.

33. A first assessment of the status of shark stocks has been conducted by a number of countries33 and a few countries indicated that a national shark plan would be completed before the Twenty-fourth Session of COFI in 2001. The EC reported that it had not undertaken the assessment but it is hoped a Community plan will be prepared in 2001. Thailand also indicated that an NPOA-sharks will be available before COFI in 2001.

34. Several countries indicated that incidental catch of seabirds was not an issue. A few countries reported that longline fishing was practised but that an assessment of the situation indicated that a national plan was not required34. A few other countries have undertaken an assessment and have developed or are developing a national plan of action (NPOA - Seabirds)35. Mitigation measures already applied include observer coverage on longline vessels, the use of tori-streamers and other bird-scaring devices, night setting, the strategic dumping of offal, the use of fully thawed baits, removal of hooks from discarded offal, and mandatory handling and release of birds that come on board alive.

35. In addition to the information contained in paragraphs 32-34 above a number of countries have provided further information to the Fifty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly via the Report of the Secretary- General36.

UN Fish Stocks Agreement and Compliance Agreement

36. The following countries have initiated the process to ratify, accede or accept the Compliance Agreement and/or the UN Fish Stocks Agreement:

(a) the UN Fish Stocks Agreement: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, European Community, Grenada, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Palau, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Tonga, Uruguay, Vietnam.

(b) The Compliance Agreement: Angola, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Cyprus, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, South Africa, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.

Actions by Inter-governmental Organizations

36. The regional organizations: Centre for Marketing Information and Fishery Products in Africa (INFOPECHE), Centre for Marketing Information and Fishery Products in Asia (INFOFISH) and Centre for Marketing Information and Fishery Products in Latin America and the Caribbean (INFOPESCA), informed FAO that in most of their member countries effective food safety and quality assurance systems for exports are in place as stipulated in Article 11 of the Code. Several countries received assistance from the regional organizations to upgrade their systems. In general, the services have an active programme aiming at the improvement of export performance of their members, the reduction of post-harvest losses and waste. However, it was noted that while arrangements for export products are usually well established, quality assurance systems for the domestic markets show wide variation and need substantial improvements in a number of cases. Regarding the traceability (origin) of the products, it is observed that this is no problem for the processors but usually not possible for consumers purchasing in local markets.

37. The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) in collaboration with ASEAN countries has completed work on the regionalization of Articles 7 (Fisheries Management) and 10 (Integration of Fisheries into Coastal Area Management) and work is on-going with regard to Articles 8 (Fishing Operations), 9 (Aquaculture Development) and 12 (Fisheries Research). Furthermore, SEAFDEC is producing training materials for responsible fishing operations, undertaking research on Juvenile and trash fish excluding devices, and has organized consultations on fishing gear selectivity. In November 2000, SEAFDEC in collaboration with the FAO Fisheries Department organized a regional workshop on excess fishing capacity to analyse the situation and identify appropriate measures that could be included in a regional plan of action on the management of fishing capacity. The outcome of SEAFDEC's work on the different issues will be consolidated and reviewed at the "ASEAN/SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millenium: Fish for the People" to be held in November 2001.

Initiatives by regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs)

38. Replies were received from 14 regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs): Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), South Pacific Permanent Commission (CPPS), Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (I-ATTC), International Baltic Sea Fishery Commission (IBSFC), International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), International Whaling Commission (IWC), Mekong River Commission (MRC), Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC), and SPC37. All the bodies except the Mekong River Commission, North Pacific Anadromous Fisheries Commission and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, indicated (at a level of 90 percent or above) that existing fisheries management plans and/or measures including those adopted by their respective organizations contained key management tools such as: stock specific target points and measures to ensure the level of fishing is commensurate with the state of fisheries resources, prohibited destructive fishing methods, addressed the protection of endangered species, fishing capacity including the economic conditions under which the fishing industry operates, and biodiversity of aquatic habitats and ecosystems.

39. The reference points that have been established by all the RFMOs, in general, have not been exceeded but the levels have been approached in more than 70 percent of the cases. Where the stock specific reference points have been approached or exceeded, catch limits have been imposed (CCBST, CPPS, IATTC and NASCO), while in the case of ICCAT stock rebuilding plans are being elaborated. CCAMLR carries out routine monitoring of the fisheries, undertakes research surveys and for all the organizations, the status of the stocks are reviewed at annual meetings.

40. The precautionary approach is being applied through the adoption of, among other measures, catch limits, zero catches particularly by IWC, quota regulations, closed areas and moratoria on fishing in the waters covered by the mandates of the organizations. Some of the organizations have also adopted long-term management strategies. In addition, the RFMOs have taken steps to ensure that only fishing operations which operate in accordance with the fisheries management measures adopted by their organizations are conducted within the waters covered by their mandates. The steps taken include: inspection, control and catch documentation, prohibition on the importation of illegally caught products, sanctions and trade restrictive measures, active enforcement and education programmes as well as diplomatic actions towards non-Members. Only a few RFMOs have adopted vessel monitoring systems (VMS)38, but the system is operational in the conventional areas of over 60 percent of the RFMOS because some member countries have put in place individual VMS.

41. Almost all the RFMOs have taken conservation or management measures, usually through the adoption of resolutions to limit bycatch. More specifically the measures include: mesh size limitations, minimum size limits and mandatory release programmes, by-catch limits, prohibition of directed fishing for a number of bycatch species, use of avoidance devices, setting up of observer programmes, on-board and in-port sampling, etc. The majority of the RFMOs indicated that reliable estimates exist on the status of a large proportion of the stocks in their mandated areas. They also reported that catch and data effort from commercial fisheries, research vessel surveys, on-board sampling from commercial vessels and in-port sampling surveys are the principal ways they obtain data for the development of their fisheries management plans.

42. The IPOA-Capacity is being addressed by I-AATC, IBSFC, ICCAT, IPHC and CCSBT and it has been endorsed by NASCO. The IPOA-Sharks has been addressed by I-AATC in the purse seine fisheries for tuna in the Commission's resolution on by-catch, while ICCAT has started an assessment of pelagic sharks in its mandated area. In the case of IPOA-Seabirds, CCAMLR has effectively pioneered a set of measures on the reduction of incidental mortality in longline fisheries, and has requested its Members to elaborate and implement national plans. CCSBT and IPHC require their members to use devices and fishing techniques to minimize incidental taking of seabirds. IPOA-Seabirds has been endorsed by NAFO.

Actions by non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

43. Only four NGOs replied to the questionnaire: the American Fisheries Society (AFS), International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The ten broad objectives listed in Article 2 of the Code were assessed by these NGOs as being relevant or extremely relevant save a few exceptions in some replies. There is the unanimous view that fisheries management is of top priority among the Code's substantive themes.

44. Various major constraints in implementing the Code were identified including lack of knowledge and `ownership' of the Code amongst fisheries authorities and fishing communities, inadequate visible support by governments and professional associations to the application of the Code, the open access characteristic of many fisheries and insufficient information on stock status and fish habitats. The solutions proposed by the NGOs to address these constraints include publicizing and informing about the Code at various levels in governments, regional fisheries management organizations, fishing communities and professional associations. It was also suggested to stimulate the development of a more specific voluntary code of good practice by industry. They also highlighted the need for legislative reforms and improved coordinating mechanisms between different government agencies responsible for fisheries and coastal zone management.

45. There is the unanimous assessment by the responding NGOs that currently countries have inadequate procedures in place to monitor aquaculture operations and to minimize the harmful effects of the introduction of non-native species or genetically altered stocks for aquaculture. Furthermore, two NGOs (FEAP and IUCN) expressed the view that present procedures for environmental assessments are inadequate for aquaculture operations. Among the proposed solutions are stronger enforcement and monitoring efforts, restriction of cultured species to those that occur naturally in a given environment, and better procedures and models for environmental impact assessments.

46. The replying NGOs have taken concrete steps to assist in the implementation of the Code or, parts thereof , through pertinent technical publications, publicizing and translating the Code into local languages, the conduct of workshops and seminars, and the development of codes of best practices. Except IUCN, none of the responding NGOs have yet taken concrete efforts to assist in the implementation of the three IPOAs, possibly because their adoption was very recent.39

Constraints and suggested solutions

47. Countries identified inadequate institutional and technical capacity, inadequate funding, lack of information and inadequate access to information, including public education programmes, under-utilization of the media, as well as inadequate participation of all stakeholders, inappropriate legislative framework, the socio-economic implications of reducing fishing effort and the difficulties of implementing such concepts as the precautionary approach in the context of reduced human and financial resources in developing countries, as major preoccupations and the principal constraints in most developing countries.

48. The suggested solutions included the need for more educational outreach, the active involvement of stakeholders through the adoption of participatory approaches in fisheries management, presentation of the Code at major national/international fishing and aquaculture industry events, emphasis on training and capacity building at all levels, improvement in the legislative framework by incorporating provisions of the Code, the translation of the Code in local languages, and the increased use of audiovisual aids.

SUGGESTED ACTION BY THE COMMITTEE

49. The Committee is invited to discuss the experiences at national, regional and international levels in the implementation of the Code. In particular, the Committee may wish to provide suggestions and guidance to enhance the implementation of the Code and the IPOAs in developing countries. The Committee may also wish to consider making in a future session an in-depth assessment of measures taken in selected countries to implement the Code and the IPOAs.

ANNEX 1
LIST OF RESPONDENTS TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE
ON MONITORING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES AND THE INTERNATIONAL PLANS OF ACTION ON CAPACITY, SHARKS AND SEABIRDS

MEMBER COUNTRIES

AFRICA (35)

Angola

Gabon

Namibia

Benin

The Gambia

Niger

Burkina Faso

Ghana

Rwanda

Burundi

Guinea

Senegal

Cameroon

Guinea-Bissau

Seychelles

Cape Verde

Kenya

Sierra Leone

Chad

Madagascar

South Africa

Congo, Democratic Republic of

Malawi

Swaziland

Congo, Republic of

Mali

Tunisia

Côte d’Ivoire

Mauritania

Uganda

Eritrea

Mauritius

Zimbabwe

Ethiopia

Morocco

 

ASIA (15)

Bangladesh

Japan

Myanmar

Cambodia

Korea, Republc of

Philippines

China

Laos

Sri Lanka

India

Malaysia

Thailand

Indonesia

Marshall Islands

Vietnam

EUROPE (16)

Austria

Finland

The Netherlands

Cyprus

Germany

Norway

Czech Republic

Greece

Portugal

Denmark

Iceland

Romania

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (21)

Argentina

Ecuador

Panama

Barbados

Grenada

Paraguay

Bolivia

Guatemala

Peru

Brazil

Haiti

Saint Lucia

Costa Rica

Honduras

Suriname

Cuba

Jamaica

Trinidad and Tobago

Dominica

Nicaragua

Uruguay

NORTH AMERICA (2)

Canada

   

USA

   

NORTH AFRICA (9)

Bahrain

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Sudan

Egypt

Kuwait

United Arab Emirates

Iraq

Lebanon

Yemen

NORTHWEST PACIFIC (5)

Australia

New Zealand

 

Fiji

Tonga

 

Marshall Islands

   

REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS (14)

IPHC

NAFO

NASCO

CPPS

I-ATTC

SPC

CCAMLR

IBSFC

NEAFC

Mekong River Commission

ICCAT

CCSBT

NPAFC

IWC

 

INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (4)

INFOFISH

INFOPESCA

 

INFOPECHE

SEAFEC

 

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (4)

AFS

FEAP

 

IUCN

ICSF

 

ANNEX 2
LIST OF PROJECTS/PROGRAMMES CONCERNED WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES

A. Projects/Programmes: completed and/or operational

DONOR

PROJECT NUMBER

PROJECT TITLE

DONOR
CONTRIBUTION (USD)

DURATION

AREA/S OF COVERAGE

CCRF ARTICLE
REFERENCE

NORWAY

GCP/INT/648/NOR

Assistance to Developing Countries for the Implementation of CCRF in MCS (C) and in Improving the Provision of Scientific Advice for Fisheries Management (F)

2,149,000

1999-2001

SEAsia, countries of the Northwest Indian Ocean, Central & South Africa, Caribbean, Central America

7 and 12

NORWAY

GCP/INT/730/NOR

International cooperation with the Nansen Programme: Fisheries management and marine environment

502,000

1999-2001

Northwest Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, the Gambia); Southwest Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Angola); western Gulf of Guinea (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin)

12

FINLAND

GCP/RAF/271/FIN

Research for the Management of Fisheries of Lake Tanganyika

10,000,000

1992-2001

Burundi, D.R of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia

7 and 12

ITALY

TEMP/RER/908/MUL

Consultation on the Adoption of Article 9 of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Mediterranean Region

320,000

1998-1999

Mediterranean Basin plus EC, Bulgaria and Romania

9

ITALY

GCP/RER/010/ITA

Scientific Cooperation to Support Responsible Fisheries in the Adriatic Sea (ADRIAMED); a second component MEDSUDMED under consideration

3,136,760

1999-2003

Albania, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia

7 and 12

JAPAN

GCP/INT/643/JPN

Sustainable Contribution of Fisheries to Food Security II

634,000

1996-1998

International (HQ based activities) including:

  • social and cultural aspects of fisheries
  • multi-species management
  • overcapacity
  • shark issues
  • marine ranching
  • 7

    JAPAN

    GCP/INT/715/JPN

    International Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources

    2,793,001

    1998-2002

    International (mainly HQ based activities) including:

    a) Development of a Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS);

    b) Support for International Negotiations;

    c) Follow-up of three International Plans of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity, for the Conservation and Management of Shark Fisheries. and for Reducing the Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries;

    d) further activities regarding the Sustainable Constribution of Fisheries to Food Security.

    3, 7, 11

    LUXEMBOURG

    GCP/INT/722/LUX

    Suivi, contrôle et surveillance de la pêche industrielle dans les pays membres de la Commission sous-régionale des pêches

    1,500,000

    1999-2003

    Mauritania, Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Guinee, The Gambia

    4

    SPAIN

    GCP/REM/057/SPA

    Advice, Technical support and Establishment of Cooperation Networks to facilitate Coordination to Support Fisheries Management in the Western and Central Mediterranean (COPEMED)

    5,000,000

    1996-2001

    Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Malta, Italy, France, Spain

    4 and 7

    UK DFID, WORLD BANK, NORWAY, ICELAND, UNDP, CIDA

    TEMP/INT/914/MUL

    Support unit for International Fisheries and Aquatic Research (SIFAR)

    350,000 P.A.

    1998-2001

    The Code assumes a strong basis of action research to generate knowledge to inform on the kinds of responsible practices it recommends. SIFAR's role is to foster research relevant to the Code and which therefore responds to the needs of sustainable development, and of the populations dependent upon aquatic resources for food and livelihood security. SIFAR has invested in developing an open directory internet portal for research called oneFish.

    mainly 12

    UK DFID

    GCP/INT/735/UK

    Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (SFLP)

    34,155,000

    1999-2004

    Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12

    1 Report of the Twenty-third Session of COFI, para.21. See also document COFI/2001/Inf.5.

    2 Summaries of all reports received have been prepared by the Secretariat in their original language. A limited number of copies is available at this session.

    3 The following additional Guidelines were elaborated since the last session of COFI: FAO Fishery Resources Division. Indicators for sustainable development of marine capture fisheries. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 8. Rome, FAO, 1999. 68p. Fisheries Management. 4, Suppl. 1. Conservation and management of sharks.

    4 Document COFI/2001/Inf.5, also summarizes other activities undertaken by FAO to promote the implementation of the Code and delegates are invited to consult that document.

    5 The outcome "Report on International Fisheries Forum, Auckland, New Zealand, 6-9 November 2000", is available at this Session.

    6 Information leaflets summarizing the activities of some of the projects mentioned in this document are available, in limited copies at this session.

    7 The percentage rate of return was for: Africa 73, Asia 71, Europe 38, Latin America and the Caribbean 64, Near East 43, North America 100, South West Pacific 46.

    8 Australia, China, Cyprus Marshall Islands, Egypt, Japan, Latvia, Myanmar, Panama, Tunisia, USA. See also footnote 23.

    9 Brazil, Canada, EC, Japan, Malawi, USA. See also footnote 24.

    10 The 25 countries participating in the Sustainable Livelihoods Programme, also Bangladesh, Chile China, Fiji, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnmam and West Africa.

    11 Since the last report it has been translated into the Albanian, Bambara, Catalan, Croatian, Indonesian, Latvian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene and Thai languages. The Code is now available in the official languages of FAO (Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish) as well as Albanian, Bambara, Catalan, Croatian, Estonian, Farsi, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhalese, Slovene, Tamil, Thai and Tigrina.

    12 Canada has instituted the "Romeo Le Blanc Medal for Responsible Fisheries". The first series of medals were awarded to four Canadian nationals on 28 April 2000.

    13 Angola, Australia, Benin, Cameroon, Canada, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Eritrea, EC, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iceland, Jamaica, Kenya, Latvia, Madagascar, Marshall Island, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, USA and Vietnam.

    14 Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Haití, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Marshall Island, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Thailand, Uganda, USA, Uruguay, Vietnam, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Zimbabwe.

    15 The EC reports that management plans exist for all marine capture fisheries under its jurisdiction and that the plans are implemented at 100 percent.

    16 Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Indonesia, Laos, Guinea, Madagascar, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, USA (for some), Uruguay.

    17 Argentina, Australia, Burundi, Canada (for some), Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana (except for tuna), Guinea (demersal stocks), Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, USA (for some), Pakistan (shrimp fisheries), Palau, Thailand and Uruguay.

    18 Argentina, Australia, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Eritrea, EC, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Tonga, Republic of Korea, USA.

    19 As of 15 November 2000, the following countries had accepted (in date order of acceptance) the Agreement to promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas: Canada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Georgia, Myanmar, Sweden, Madagascar, Norway, USA, Argentina, EC, Namibia, Benin, Tanzania, Mexico, Uruguay, Seychelles, Cyprus, Japan and Barbados. The Agreement will enter into force as from the date of receipt by the Director-General of FAO of the twenty-fifth instrument of acceptance. Although not yet in force, Canada, Japan and USA have provided information to FAO in accordance with Article VI of the Agreement.

    20 Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominica, Ecuador, Eritrea, Fiji, Indonesia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, USA, Uruguay, Vietnman and Zimbabwe.

    21 Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Morocco, Namibia, USA, Uruguay.

    22 Argentina, Benin, Canada (entire fleet), European Community, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Iceland (100 percent), Japan (partly), Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand (partly), Norway, Panama, Senegal, Seychelles (partly) Sierra Leone, South Africa (partly), Sudan, USA (partly), Uruguay, USA and Vietnam.

    23 Austria, Australia, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, China, Czech Republic, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, EC, Indonesia, Laos, Latvia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand, ,Tunisia, USA.

    24 Austria, Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, EC, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Madagascar, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Norway, Romania, Seychelles, Senegal, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

    25 Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Cyprus, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, EC, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, USA and Zimbabwe.

    26 Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Fiji, Japan, Latvia, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, USA and Vietnam.

    27 The following developing countries reported that they have the legal framework for ICAM: Angola, Barbados, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Palau, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Tonga, Tunisia.

    28 Austria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Eritrea, EC, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Iceland, Indonesia, Laos, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay, Turkey, USA, Vietnam.

    29 Austria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, EC, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, USA, Zimbabwe.

    30 Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, EC, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Madagascar (for some zones), Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, USA, Uruguay, Zimbabwe.

    31 Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, USA, Uruguay, Vietnam.

    32 Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, EC, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Panama, Palau, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Seychelles, Sudan, Thailand, Uruguay, USA.

    33 Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Gambia, Indonesia, Japan, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, USA.

    34 Argentina, Barbados, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Iceland, Panama, Uruguay.

    35 Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA and Vietnam.

    36 Large-scale pelagic drift-net fishing, unauthorised fishing in zones of national jurisdiction and on the high seas, fisheries by-catch and discards, and other developments. Report of the Secretary-General to the 55th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. (A/55/386)

    37 The Mekong River Commission and The Secretariat of the Pacific Community exercise more of an advisory role.

    38 CCAMLR, NAFO, IBSFC, ICCAT in the pilot phase, IWC by the nations but discussions are on-going for international monitoring, while the Member countries of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, the FFA coordinates a VMS.

    39 The Audubon Society Living Oceans Programme in collaboration with BirdLife International have produced a Seabird handling video.