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FAO provides MCS technical assistance to its developing members on a request basis, using in-house or contracted expertise to deliver such assistance. Depending on particular needs and circumstances, the type and scope of assistance sought, and cost-effectiveness considerations, FAO's technical assistance can be provided either to a State or to a group of States on a regional basis. Where it is necessary to address specific MCS issues, assistance is normally provided on a national basis. However, with MCS training, or the consideration of common MCS issues and initiatives, delivery of assistance is more appropriate and effective through regional mechanisms.

Appendix 1 provides a summary of MCS technical assistance provided by FAO to its developing members between 1980 and 1994. The summary excludes (i) technical assistance related to assessments of fisheries situations and or general advice relating to fisheries policy and planning (ii) legislative assistance unless there was a clearly defined MCS component in the assistance (e.g. the 1992 assistance rendered to the Seychelles under the project title of "revision of fisheries legislation" which included a review of the country's MCS needs and current activities).

The information summarized in Attachment 1 is presented for projects (i) of a global nature, and (ii) by region/sub-region for Africa (East Africa and West Africa), Asia and the Pacific (South-East Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific), Latin America (Caribbean, Central America and South America), Near East, and Europe (Mediterranean). This information is further sub-divided with classifications for MCS technical assistance that has been provided by FAO (i) nationally to individual States, and (ii) regionally to groups of States.

4.1 Geographical areas assisted

Between 1980 and 1994 FAO provided MCS technical assistance in every region of the world. However, interestingly, the amount of MCS technical assistance rendered, either nationally or regionally, did not tend to reflect the relative economic and social importance of fisheries to individual States or groupings of States. Rather, the pattern that has emerged with respect to the provision of MCS assistance reflects, interalia, the existence of national and or regional organizations with a competence to undertake MCS activities, technical and other assistance from non-FAO sources, and at the national level, a reluctance by some States to involve outside organizations in areas that these States perceive as impinging upon national sovereignty.

At the national level there has been a strong focus of technical assistance in three sub-regions. These sub-regions were East Africa, West Africa, and especially in the early 1980s, South-East Asia. Lower levels of assistance have been provided to States in South Asia, the Near East, the Mediterranean, Central America, and South America. Over the review period no national MCS technical assistance was provided to States in the Caribbean.

Most regional MCS assistance provided by FAO has focused on three sub-regions: East Africa, West Africa and South-East Asia. No regional MCS technical assistance was provided to groups of States in South Asia, the Near East, the Mediterranean, Central America, South America, and the South Pacific.

4.2 Types of assistance

A review of the MCS technical assistance provided by FAO indicates that such assistance falls essentially into two categories: (i) national reviews of current MCS situations and, based on the particular needs of, and conditions in, States, the elaboration of policy options for enhancing such systems, and (ii) regional capacity building and institutional strengthening programmes. For policy reasons regarding its maintenance of neutrality vis-a-vis all members, FAO has not been involved in providing operational MCS assistance, though operational level training can be organized if appropriate funding is identified.

Appendix 1 details the objectives of MCS technical assistance provide by FAO, and these objectives indicate the type of assistance rendered. Prominent among national requests for assistance have been the evaluation of existing MCS arrangements, advice concerning the adoption of appropriate MCS arrangements or means to strengthen existing arrangements, assessment of institutional arrangements, and the evaluation of training needs. At the national level, requests for MCS assistance were often related to actual or perceived problems with the legal and illegal operation of foreign fishing fleets in the EEZs of the requesting States.

All of the regional MCS technical assistance provided by FAO has been delivered through the Organization's regional fishery bodies or programmes. This assistance, both of a policy development and systems nature, has been delivered primarily in workshop mode where important common MCS issues have been addressed and evaluated.

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