Table Of ContentsNext Page





Important recent events concerning international trade in fishery products

    The Sub-Committee noted that fish production declined substantially during 1999, mainly due to decreased catches of small pelagics in Chile and Peru, caused by "El Niño". Delegates agreed that fish trade represented a significant source of foreign currency earnings for many developing countries. (para. 7)

    Delegates noted that fish in food aid was declining over the years in line with the overall decline in food aid. FAO continued to have a role in monitoring the use of fish products in food aid. (para. 9)

    The Sub-Committee noted the success of the FISH INFOnetwork. In view of its new location in Morocco INFOSAMAK was duly noted as an important vehicle for promotion of trade in the region. (para. 10)

Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and responsible fish trade

    The Sub-Committee agreed on the need for Technical Guidelines related to Articles 11.2 and 11.3 of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. (para. 12)

    The Sub-Committee agreed that the second draft of the Technical Guidelines to Articles 11.2 and 11.3 of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries will be submitted to the Twenty-fourth Session of the Committee on Fisheries for information and/or recommendation on further process, which could include the convening of an expert consultation. (para. 13)

Implementation of the World Trade Organization's Agreements and Multilateral Trade Negotiations

    Delegates noted the relevance of issues covered under the umbrella programme for training on the Uruguay Round (UR) Agreements and Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture for fisheries experts. The Secretariat was asked to ensure that information on the training programme be discussed with Fisheries Administrations. (para. 17)

    Many delegates underscored the need for more rapid harmonization of standards as well as negotiation of agreements on equivalency in accordance with the rules of agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). Countries noted the financial costs for their industries to accommodate the need for multiple approvals of their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programmes. (para. 19)

    FAO had a role to play in risk analysis and should collaborate in particular with Codex in defining the approach to adopt. (para. 20)

Matters arising from COFI:FT/VI

    Many delegates expressed their concern about the impact of government assistance on over-capacity and unsustainability of fisheries resources. Many delegates from developing countries underlined the importance of government assistance to artisanal and small-scale fisheries. The Sub-Committee agreed that government assistance could have both negative and positive effects. (para. 21)

    It was agreed that FAO's work on fisheries subsidies/government assistance should initially be to perform a thorough and exhaustive review of the forms of subsidies in fisheries, to establish a common technical baseline for discussion. An expert consultation should be convened and a report with findings, conclusions and recommendations should be distributed to member countries before the Twenty-fourth Session of COFI for review. (para. 23)

    The Sub-Committee reiterated the conclusions of the Twenty-third Session of COFI with respect to eco-labelling and considered that there was no mandate from COFI to proceed with a second technical consultation at this time. (para. 24)

  There was consensus that FAO should continue its work on the review of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listing criteria. (para. 25)

    The Sub-Committee underscored the importance of developing an International Plan of Action to combat Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) (para. 26)

COFI Sub-Committee on Fish trade as International Commodity Body and its relationship with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)

    Some delegations expressed general appreciation of the projects financed by the CFC and their successful execution by the regional INFO services. The Sub-Committee approved the pipeline projects. (para. 27)

    Several delegations highlighted the continued need for technical assistance and training, especially in developing countries, and welcomed the use of CFC projects as well as assistance from developed countries in such areas. (para. 28)

Implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework - Trade aspects

    The Sub-Committee expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the Strategic Framework and the emphasis on the use of institutional partnerships and cooperation with other international organizations. (para. 30)

Any other matters

    The Sub-Committee considered proposals for future studies put forward by members and agreed to give priority to studies on the impact of the Uruguay Round agreements on fish exports and adaptation of developing and developed countries to changes in fish import regimes in major markets, and on the impact of international trade in fishery products on food security and employment. (para. 31)

    One delegation expressed its opposition to the fact that in future meetings of the Sub-Committee the Rapporteur would use only one language in the preparation of the report of the Sub-Committee. The delegation requested that the issue be raised with COFI and that the means be provided to permit all FAO languages to be used in all stages of the procedure for the preparation and adoption of the report. (para. 34)

    The Sub-Committee agreed to place on the agenda for its next session a discussion on ways to improve its operation. (para. 38)

Date and place of the Eighth Session of the Sub-Committee

    The Sub-Committee received with great appreciation the invitation to consider holding the Eighth Session of the Sub-Committee in conjunction with the seafood fair to be held in the year 2002 (14 to 17 February). (para. 39)

Top Of PageNext Page