17. Detailed discussions on the institutional arrangements that would be most suitable for the formulation, adoption and implementation of management measures took place at the First Session of the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna in 1970, at the Second Session of IOFC in October 1970, at the First and Second Joint meetings of the IOFC and IPFC Tuna Committees in 1971 and 1972 respectively, and at the Third Session of IOFC in 1973. The views expressed on the occasion of these meetings may be summarized as follows:
(i) Two delegations were of the opinion that it was necessary to create a new body similar to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (I-ATTC) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). It was essential that all countries concerned with tuna fisheries should become full members of the management body. This would be possible in the case of an independent body, while certain of the countries concerned were not Member Nations of FAO and therefore could not become members of IOFC. They also stated that it was not the role of FAO and of its subsidiary bodies to concern themselves directly with the adoption and implementation of management measures.
(ii) One delegation felt that interim and temporary measures could be discussed and recommended by existing bodies and that FAO should be requested to take steps to convene a conference of plenipotentiaries that might adopt a convention providing for the establishment of an independent tuna management body.
(iii) The other delegations were of the opinion that the unnecessary proliferation of management bodies should be avoided. As IOFC and IPFC had been entrusted with the task of examining management problems, they constituted the most appropriate forum to discuss and recommend management measures. As bodies established within the framework of FAO, IOFC and IPFC were well equipped to fulfil the Organization's role to ensure that fishery resources were utilized for the maximum benefit of the international community and that development and management would be considered as complementary aspects of the single aim of rational utilization of the tuna resources in the areas under review. In the final analysis, it would be necessary to rely on the good will and sense of cooperation of all countries concerned.
18. In the following years, delegations maintained the same positions and apart from discussions on financing secretariat activities, institutional aspects were not given special attention again until 1978. At their Fifth Joint Meeting in 1978, the IOFC and IPFC Tuna Committees discussed the issue and felt that the three following options could be considered:
(a) to provide for a better system of collection, analysis and dissemination of data and statistics at both the national and international levels with no additional institutional arrangements at this time;
(b) to strengthen the present IPFC secretariat or establish a separate tuna management secretariat within IPFC,
(c) to establish a separate body by treaty concluded outside the framework of FAO.
19. The Committees agreed that the state of development of tuna management activities was well beyond the stage referred to in option (a), while option (c), although possibly a long-term solution, involved complex political considerations that could not be addressed at that meeting. Option (b) had substantial support and it was proposed that action be taken in this regard in stages. Within the purview of option (b), the Committees recommended that FAO should prepare short- and long-term tuna management schemes, in consultation with all member countries of IOFC and IPFC and with the assistance of a tuna management specialist. The relevant proposals should be submitted to the next meeting of the Tuna Committees of IOFC and IPFC in 1980.
20. The question of financing the data collection and other activities required to allow for the management of tunas was also discussed by the joint meeting of the IOFC and IPFC Tuna Management Committees. At their Second Joint Meeting in 1972, the issue was discussed briefly without reaching any conclusion. At their Third Joint Meeting in 1975 the Committees emphasized that the development and introduction of management measures would require substantial funding but that the amount involved would be far exceeded by the cost of failing to manage. The Committees agreed that whichever structure for management decision would be finally adopted, it was necessary to prepare detailed proposals for financing that structure in the short and long-term. The Committees established a small ad hoc Committee of Nations to prepare statements on the functions, methods of operation and financing of a joint IOFC/IPFC secretariat. It must be noted that at this time the financing was only discussed in the context of management functions being conducted by the two Committees.
21. The ad hoc Committee of Nations met twice in 1975 and agreed that the figure of US$ 300,000 annually presented by the Secretariat for an "austerity" budget for central technical support, was reasonable and could be used as general guidelines. Although there were several views as to how the cost should be shared, it was generally accepted that the principle of "user pays" should be adopted. This proposal was considered by the IPFC and IOFC Committees on tuna management at their Fourth Joint Meeting in 1976 and although some countries were of the opinion that funding should be provided by FAO and UNDP, there was general agreement that in the long term funding should be on the principle of "user pays". This was also the opinion of IPFC and IOFC. When the two tuna Committees met for their Fifth Joint Meeting in 1978, they decided that the tuna management activities should be carried out within the framework of IPFC and IOFC and furthermore, they considered that the original proposal for a budget in the order of US$ 300 000 was far too ambitious.
22. The question of institutional arrangements for the management of the Indian Ocean tunas was not discussed by either IOFC or its Committee on Tuna Management until 1986. Two developments necessitated the serious consideration of this issue. First, as described in paragraphs 5 and 6 there was a substantial increase in the landings of tunas from the Indian Ocean. The increase which was due mainly to increased tuna fishing activities by DWFNs in the region prompted some coastal States to reiterate their concern over the lack of a proper management body to regulate tuna fishing in the region. The second development was that, by 1986, the IPTP data centre in Colombo had gathered substantial information on various aspects of tuna in the Indian Ocean and was becoming increasingly competent to provide scientific information for management consideration. In addition UNDP had repeatedly indicated that the funding for IPTP should come from the members and that the UNDP funding would terminate in 1989.
23. At its Ninth Session (Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 1986) the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna noted that the present institutional arrangements (i.e., a subsidiary body of a commission created under Article VI of the FAO Constitution complemented by a field project funded partly by UNDP and partly by member countries and EC) were satisfactory to meet the present needs. Several delegations expressed their concern, however, about the adequacy of these arrangements after the termination of the project. Bearing in mind the time required for changing the present structure, if needed, the Committee felt that it was not too early to start thinking about the various options available. It agreed to set up a small ad hoc group, made up of France, Japan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Thailand, to review in detail these options and make recommendations to the next session. The Committee also decided that in view of the growing involvement of the EC in the tuna fishery in the Indian Ocean, the EC should be invited to participate in the work of the ad hoc group in an observer capacity. The Committee further requested the ad hoc group to inter alia consider and recommend options which would allow the EC to participate fully in any decision-making process involving questions for which the EC member States had transferred their competence to the Community.
24. The First Government Consultation was held at FAO Headquarters in Rome on 15 and 21 May 1987. It was attended by delegates from the five Member Nations selected by the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna at its Ninth Session. Representatives of the UNDP and the EC also attended as observers. Although the issue of institutional arrangement for the management of tuna in the Indian Ocean had been discussed by IOFC and by the IOFC and IPFC Tuna Committees in the past, those discussions had been fragmented and touched only upon certain aspects of the issue. The Government Consultation, on the other hand, had been entrusted to discuss all aspects of the long-term institutional arrangements for the management of Indian Ocean tuna; a task which was taken very seriously with total commitment on the part of the participants.
25. The Consultation had before it a comprehensive document (IOFC/TML/87/2, April 1987) which had been prepared by the Secretariat of the Consultation on Long-term Institutional Arrangements for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna. The Consultation noted that this document had identified three broad options for institutional mechanism to deal with the management of the Indian Ocean tunas.
(i) continuation and strengthening of the present arrangements, i.e., a subsidiary body of an FAO Commission receiving support from field projects financed by extra-budgetary funds;
(ii) creation of a new structure within the framework of FAO either under Article VI.I or under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution; and
(iii) establishment of a new body by a treaty concluded outside the framework of FAO.
26. After an exchange of views, the Consultation decided that before making any recommendation in favour of any of the options mentioned above, it was necessary to analyse some concrete issues (membership, powers, funding, etc.) which would have a direct bearing on the choice of the legal framework. The Consultation, therefore, discussed all the issues in the following order:
(a) Areas and species to be covered
27. The Consultation noted that at present the area of competence of the Committee was the same as its parent body, i.e. the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas, excluding Antarctica. It agreed that the future institutional arrangements should cover the same area, corresponding to FAO Statistical Areas 51 and 57. One delegation stressed that all species of tuna occurring in the area should be covered. Other delegations advised that the matter should be carefully discussed and that it would be necessary to list the species to be dealt with by the new management body, bearing in mind the present arrangements and the relevant provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
28. It was recalled that Article 64 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which deals with highly migratory species, calls upon coastal States and other States whose nationals fish in a region for such species to cooperate directly or through appropriate international organizations with a view to ensuring conservation and promoting the objective of optimum utilization of such species throughout the region. The Consultation noted that some of the States whose nationals fish in the Indian Ocean for highly migratory species were not members of FAO, but that such States which were members of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies could become full members of an FAO body established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.
29. Some delegations expressed their preference for opening membership only to the two categories referred to above while others considered that the participation of countries which could contribute substantially to the scientific knowledge of Indian Ocean tuna stocks would also be desirable. The Consultation hoped that the legal difficulties which at present prevented the EC from becoming a member of FAO fishery bodies could be overcome. The Consultation was informed that this question was under consideration by the competent organs of the EC. The EC Representative explained that full membership of EC would be important for the following reasons (i) its exclusive competence to implement conservation measures, (ii) its bilateral fishery agreements with some States in the region, and (iii) its financial rules for making long-term contributions.
30. Most participants in the Consultation agreed that the future institutional arrangements should provide for full management functions. They felt that the new body should be able to recommend appropriate management measures on the basis of the best scientific information available. Some delegations strongly emphasized the need for the new body to deal with development aspects and to help coastal countries to participate more actively and more directly in the tuna fishery in the region. One delegation, while recognizing the importance of development aspects, felt that the Consultation had to concentrate on management aspects.
31. The Consultation acknowledged that, under the existing arrangements, the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna was empowered to make recommendations which, once formally endorsed by the Commission, were transmitted for appropriate action to its Member Nations by the Director-General of FAO. It felt that, if a new body was entrusted with more explicit management functions, it should also be given stronger powers, including the possibility to formulate recommendations which might become binding upon member countries unless an objection was lodged within a given period. It was noted that the adoption of such a procedure was possible for bodies established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.
32. The Consultation devoted particular attention to this problem. It noted that the choice of a legal framework would have very important consequences on the funding of the new body. The Consultation was informed that, if it were decided to choose option (a) or (b) indicated in paragraph 25 above, the FAO Regular Programme could continue to provide some basic support, at least at the same level as in the previous years. On the other hand, should option (c) be favoured, FAO financial support could not be continued and FAO could only provide some very limited technical assistance to the new body (e.g. sending officers to attend, in an observer capacity, meetings of the new body). Option (c) would, however, allow the EC to contribute on a continuing basis to the budget of the new body for those activities for which it had been given competence by its member countries, whereas, if option (a) or (b) were adopted, the EC could only consider contributing to specific activities on a case-by-case basis but could not participate in the funding of a permanent administrative structure.
33. It was recognized that, in all cases, financial contributions should be required from participating countries. The Consultation took note, with interest, of the information provided on the funding systems adopted by other international organizations dealing with tuna management in other regions of the world. It discussed various formulae but could not elaborate on a detailed recommendation concerning this matter. It was agreed that the volume of the catches should be one of the factors to be taken into account for assessing countries' contributions.
34. It was however unanimously recognized that this factor should be complemented by other factors such as the level of development (e.g., GNP), the commercial value of the catches, the importance of the industry processing tuna from the region, and the incomes derived from bilateral access agreements. A distinction could also be made depending on the nature of the fisheries operations which would alleviate the financial burden of countries with artisanal fisheries. The Consultation requested the Secretariat to work out possible formulae for submission to the next Consultation.
(f) Legal Framework
35. Bearing in mind all the above considerations, the Consultation was unable to reach consensus on any of the three options referred to in paragraph 25 above. The delegations of two developing coastal States felt that the continuation of a substantial FAO involvement was essential. This could, in their view, be achieved through the establishment of a new body under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution. The delegate from another developing coastal State found that the third option was the most interesting because it was the only one allowing for full EC membership. The EC representative stressed that the Community had been given exclusive competence on fishery management by its member countries and should be able to participate fully in the future international mechanism for the management of tuna in the Indian Ocean. The representative noted that this would not be possible within the existing FAO legal framework and expressed preference for the establishment of a new body by a Treaty concluded outside the framework of FAO.
36. The Consultation made a significant contribution to the setting up of new institutional arrangement for the management and development of Indian Ocean tuna. A number of problems remained to be solved, in particular the issue of membership which was directly linked to the legal framework of the new body, the species to be covered, the extent of power of the new body and finally the financial implications.
37. The Secretariat was instructed to circulate the report of the Consultation and document IOFC/TML/87/2 to all members of the Committee for comment and to prepare additional proposals concerning in particular the institutional framework, the funding options and the species to be covered. Once the comments from other members had been received and the required additional documentation prepared, the five countries participating in the Consultation would meet again in Bangkok, Thailand, in early 1988, to formulate final proposals for the Committee's consideration.
38. As requested by the First Consultation, the Secretariat sent the Report of the Consultation, document IOFC/TML/87/2 and a letter to all members of the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna requesting them to send their comments to the Secretariat before the end of December 1987. The Secretariat received comments from the Governments of Bangladesh, Cuba, Spain, Norway, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia and Japan. The views expressed by these Governments can be summarized as follows:
39. On the issue of membership, Bangladesh and Spain were in favour of full membership of the EC in any new arrangement while Japan considered it to be proper to limit membership to the coastal States and the fishing countries directly involved. On the species to be covered, Bangladesh and Indonesia wanted all species of tuna to be covered by the new body. Spain favoured those species listed in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea while Japan considered it more appropriate to limit the species to skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna only. On the question of power, those who commented were generally in favour of giving the new body adequate power to deal with conservation and management measures. The funding was generally agreed to be shared by FAO and contributions by the members of the new body and that members' contribution should be worked out carefully on the basis of a number of factors including the volume of catch, the commercial value of catch and GNP. As to the legal framework only Spain and Thailand favoured a body under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution while Tanzania preferred the continuation of the present arrangement.
40. The Second Government Consultation was held at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1 to 3 March 1988. Delegates from France, Japan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Thailand attended the Consultation. The UNDP and the EC also attended the Consultation in an observer capacity. The Secretariat informed the delegates that the purpose of the Consultation was neither to take any binding decisions nor to negotiate a convention but simply to pave the way for the IOFC Tuna Committee which would, at its forthcoming session, formulate the appropriate recommendations for further action. The Consultation, therefore, decided to discuss all the issues separately in more detail so that the outcome of their conclusions could be discussed and decisions made by the forthcoming IOFC Tuna Committee.
(a) Area to be covered
41. The comments received indicated that there was a general consensus on the area to be covered by the future body i.e. FAO Statistical Areas 51 and 57.
(b) Species to be covered
42. The Consultation recognized that this was an important and critical matter and that it was necessary to list the species to be covered by the new body, bearing in mind the present arrangements and the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
43. The delegation of Japan suggested that, because of the possible budgetary constraints, the list should be limited to skipjack and yellowfin tunas. The other delegations preferred to include all the tuna and associated species listed in Annex I to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as far as they are actually found in the Indian Ocean. The Japanese delegation pointed out that the tropical tunas represented an important percentage of the total catches. The recent substantial increase of catches for these species was in fact the very reason for which more stringent institutional arrangements were found desirable. Southern bluefin tuna should not be covered by the same arrangement as the one to be set up for the tropical tunas because this particular species, although spawning mainly in the Indian Ocean, migrates all around the Antarctic continent through the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. According to the Japanese delegation, any rational management mechanism for southern bluefin tuna should cover its whole area of migration. Since the early 1980s, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, which were the only countries exploiting southern bluefin tuna, have cooperated for their rational management. Conservation measures have been adopted and are already enforced. Placing southern bluefin tuna under the management of an Indian Ocean body would not only be scientifically unwise but could also create unnecessary duplication.
44. All other delegations stressed the need for including in the list all the relevant species using as a basis the Annex to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The new body could of course decide to devote priority attention to some of these species only. In their view, the overall volume of fish catch - expressed in weight - was of little value for determining the need for a management mechanism. The status of the stocks was by far a more important factor. These delegations therefore had difficulties in accepting any proposal that the competence of the new body should be restricted to yellowfin and skipjack. Despite their circumpolar nature, southern bluefin tunas were already covered by sectorial institutional arrangements with geographically-limited competence (e.g. I-ATTC for the South-east Pacific and ICCAT for the South Atlantic) and binding powers. There was still, therefore, a vacuum to fill in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. Appropriate mechanisms could easily be envisaged to coordinate the work of the scientists working in the different sectors of the southern hemisphere.
45. The Consultation recognized that tuna stocks should be managed primarily by those countries directly involved. Bearing in mind the concerns expressed by Japan, they indicated that a new body could establish species-based Panels whose membership could comprise the countries directly concerned and which might be given a certain degree of autonomy. It noted that even if all the Indian Ocean States do not presently participate in the fishery, southern bluefin tuna stock presents an important potential interest in the future. The delegation of France observed that management of a species having specific characteristics and involving a very small number of countries was being satisfactorily conducted within the framework of larger international tuna management bodies.
46. It was noted that the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna was presently covering all species of tuna including southern bluefin. At its last meeting in December 1986, it had reviewed the status of the stock and had suggested a substantial reduction in the catches and supported the conservation measures recommended at the fifth meeting of Australian, Japanese and New Zealand scientists held in Shimizu, Japan, in June 1986. The Consultation agreed to leave the matter open for the moment in order to allow the IOFC Tuna Committee to assess fully all the factors involved.
47. In view of the comments received and of the relevant provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Consultation agreed that membership in the future body should be open to all coastal States and to countries fishing in the Indian Ocean for the species covered by the Convention.
48. The possibility of the EC's membership was discussed at length. The Consultation was informed by the Secretariat that the Basic Texts of the Organization did not envisage the participation of entities other than States in the Commissions established by international conventions under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution. It was, however, felt that the EC involvement in the activities of the new body was desirable in view of the competence in fisheries management and the substantial Indian Ocean fishing interests represented by the EC. The Consultation suggested that the EC and the FAO Secretariat should hold discussions in order to find a pragmatic solution which could allow the EC to be properly associated with the activities of the new body, if it were to be decided that the new body should be constituted under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.
49. The Consultation recommended that the new body should have full management functions. It should in particular:
- collect, analyse and disseminate scientific information concerning the status of tuna stocks covered by the Convention;
- formulate recommendations for research;
- formulate recommendations for management measures to secure the conservation of resources and promote their optimum utilization; and
- cooperate with non-member countries and international organizations.
50. It was agreed that research activities would be primarily conducted by the member countries themselves. The new body would coordinate such activities among the member countries. In addition, it would assist those member countries with limited capabilities in developing their national skills in management-related disciplines in order to allow them fully and efficiently to participate in its work. The Consultation recognized the concern expressed by several developing coastal States in respect of development aspects and the need to facilitate their more active participation in the Indian Ocean tuna fishery.
51. In the light of the replies to the questionnaire received so far and of the discussions at its previous meeting, the Consultation unanimously agreed that the new body should be given the power to formulate recommendations of a potentially binding nature with the objection procedure.
52. The Consultation studied this question on the basis of document IOFC:TM/88/Inf.7, which contained information on the formulae used in other regional bodies for apportioning financial contributions. As requested by the First Consultation, the Secretariat had also prepared possible formulae combining several factors such as GNP, weight of catches, and value of catches which could be used for the new body. The Consultation noted with great interest the factual information provided and agreed that the proposed formulae constituted a useful basis for discussion which could still be refined. It stressed that any formula should (i) be equitable to everyone (ii) be realistic and take into account the ability of potential members to pay, (iii) be based on simple and unquestionable data.
53. The weight to be given to each of the factors to be taken into account by the proposed formulae was carefully discussed. Some countries preferred giving more importance to the GNP. Others favoured increasing the importance of the catches component. Several countries underlined the uncertainties deriving from the estimation of the value of the catches. It was suggested that additional information and new alternative solutions be prepared by the Secretariat for consideration by the forthcoming session of the IOFC Tuna Management Committee. In particular formulae including the payment of a basic flat rate membership fee should be elaborated. Information on the economic importance of the industrial infrastructure processing tuna from the Indian Ocean should also be made available.
(g) Legal framework
54. All delegations participating in the Consultation and most of the countries which replied to the questionnaire affirmed that the new body should have close links with FAO. If a body were to be set up within the FAO framework, the necessity of giving it adequate powers and of providing for a separate budget would imply the setting up of a Commission under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution. It was however noted with concern that this solution would, at least for the moment, exclude the possibility of granting full membership to the EC.
55. At the suggestion of the representative of the EC, the Consultation further requested the Secretariat to report to the Committee on the possibility of FAO support to and servicing of a body entirely set up outside the framework of the Organization, as envisaged by Resolution No. 47/57 of the FAO Conference.
56. When the Committee held its Tenth Session (Moka, Mauritius, 28 June to 1 July 1988), it found itself in agreement with most of the conclusions which had been arrived at by the Government Consultations. It concurred with the Consultation that the area of competence of the new body should be the FAO Statistical Areas 51 and 57. As to the species to be covered, it agreed that the list of species should be based on the list annexed to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Committee recognized the importance of management of particular species, such as southern bluefin tuna, by the countries directly concerned and felt that appropriate provision could be made in the agreement for the establishment of the new body, whereby this requirement could be accommodated.
57. The Committee recalled that Article 64 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which dealt with highly migratory species, called upon coastal States and other States whose nationals fish in a region for such species to cooperate directly or through appropriate international organizations with a view to ensuring conservation and promoting the objective of optimum utilization of such species throughout the region. The Second Consultation had recommended that membership in the new body should be open to all coastal States and to States whose nationals fish in the Indian Ocean for the species covered by the future agreement. The Committee adopted the foregoing recommendation of the Government Consultation.
58. The question of EC membership in the new body was discussed in detail by the Committee. The Committee concluded that, in addition to the two groups of States referred to above, it considered the participation of the EC, as a member of the new body, desirable because of its competence in fisheries and the substantial fishing interest which it represented, subject to the clarification of other related matters and to consideration of legal implications.
59. As regards the functions of the new body the Committee agreed with the recommendation of the Second Consultation and decided that the new body should have the following management functions:
- collect, analyse and disseminate scientific information concerning the status of tuna stocks covered by the Convention;
- formulate recommendations for research;
- formulate recommendations for management measures to secure the conservation of resources and promote their optimum utilization; and
- cooperate with non-member countries and international organizations.
Several developing coastal States emphasised that the new management body should also deal with development aspects and help them to participate more actively in tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean. The Committee noted that this issue had also been discussed by the Second Consultation and that the Consultation had noted that complementary arrangements, outside the framework of the new body, could be considered through FAO, Organization for Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation (IOMAC) and international development banks which would allow developing coastal States to participate more effectively in the Indian Ocean tuna fishery. The Committee agreed that this matter should be referred to the next Conference when it was held to adopt a draft agreement for the new body.
60. The Committee recalled that the Second Consultation had unanimously agreed that the body should be given the power to formulate recommendations of a potentially binding nature consistent with the objection procedure already adopted by many regional fishery bodies whereby such recommendations would become binding upon members unless members lodged an objection within a fixed period of time. The Committee adopted the recommendation of the Consultation as set out above.
61. On the question of funding, the Committee recognized that any long-term institutional arrangements would have to rely on stable financial commitments. If the new body were established within the framework of FAO, the Regular Programme could continue to provide some basic support on a regular basis, but it would be necessary, in any case, that participating countries make financial contributions to the budget of the new body to enable it to discharge its management functions. The Committee recalled that both Government Consultations had examined a number of criteria which might be used in determining the financial contributions of participating countries as well as a number of possible formulae prepared by the Secretariat. The Committee considered the various formulae and the advantages and disadvantages which they presented. An additional formula was proposed by one delegation and an alternative approach (i.e., grouping of countries) was proposed by the Secretariat. Given the number of variants before the Committee and the complexity of the matter, the Chairman decided, with the assent of the Committee, to appoint a working group to review proposals and to make specific recommendations as to which proposal or proposals should be retained by the Committee for transmittal to the Conference.
62. The working group, composed of representatives of France, Japan, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, presided over by the representatives of Sri Lanka, reached the conclusion that two solutions should be retained for further consideration. They were:
(i) to group countries into the following categories for contributions:
A. industrial fishing countries;
B. developing coastal countries:
1. with active fishing and major export, transshipment or processing activities;
2. with active fishing but mainly for local consumption;
3. with minor fishing activities;
Each category would fund a given percentage of the total budget;
(ii) to assess national contributions, as suggested in document IOFC:TM/88/Inf.6 in Formula H, i.e.:
- 50 percent of the contribution assessed on the basis of GNP per caput;
- 25 percent of the contribution assessed on the basis of the value of catches (all species);
- 25 percent of the contribution assessed on the basis of the weight of catches (all species);
- a ceiling of 5 percent for those countries with less than 300 000 inhabitants.
The Committee requested the Secretariat to prepare an information document to be made available to the Diplomatic Conference showing the results of the application to the Indian Ocean of the funding formulae used by other international fishery commissions.
63. As to the legal framework, the Committee recalled that three options were available:
(i) the continuation and strengthening of the present arrangements;
(ii) the creation of a new structure within the framework of FAO; or
(iii) the establishment of a new body outside the framework of FAO.
Bearing in mind the consequences of the options available to it and their financial implications, the Committee preferred to adopt the solution whereby the new body would be established within the framework of FAO under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.
64. The Secretariat then outlined the procedures and the timetable which would now be initiated as a follow-up to the meeting. FAO would prepare a draft text based on the conclusions of the Committee. The draft text would be sent for comment to all Member Nations which might be included within the scope of the agreement as well as to the countries and organizations which would be invited to the Diplomatic Conference as observers. It was recommended that the Conference should take place in spring 1989. Subsequently, the text, if adopted by the Conference, would be submitted to the FAO Conference for approval at its next session in November 1989.