Major Programme 2.3: Fisheries

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG Programme Change ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG Programme Change RG 2006-07 Programme of Work
231 Fisheries Information 7,573 0 7,573 300 7,873
232 Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture 12,358 41 12,399 500 12,899
233 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilisation 9,882 (131) 9,751 760 10,511
234 Fisheries Policy 11,406 (742) 10,664 500 11,164
239 Programme Management 6,003 3 6,006 0 6,006
Total 47,223 (829) 46,394 2,060 48,454
ZNG Impact     (3,110)    
Total     43,284    

Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

231.     Major Programme 2.3 will continue to address the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), the International Plans of Action (IPOAs) endorsed by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and Council, and other international instruments which provide the framework for national policies to pursue responsible and sustainable development in fisheries and aquaculture.

232.     It will actively contribute to meet the goal of the World Food Summit and the Millennium Declaration of halving hunger by 2015. In this context, the activities of small-scale and artisanal fisheries are often targeted on supplying fish and fishery products to local and domestic markets, and for subsistence consumption. Consequently, emphasis will be given to activities aiming to increase the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security and poverty alleviation.

233.     The prime emphasis in the implementation of the CCRF found echo in the priority on fisheries given by other relevant international instruments such as the Plan of Implementation adopted by the Johannesburg Summit in 2002. The ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture will be developed further and the contributions of inland fisheries and aquaculture to food security will be enhanced. Current information systems will be adapted to new needs. FAO will assist with the elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through the implementation of better management practices, including monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS).

234.     Measures to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on the environment will be identified. Overall priority will be given to human and institutional capacity-building, particularly for small-scale fisheries development and in the area of fish trade, quality and safety. Partnerships with regional fisheries bodies and national centres of excellence will be expanded in support of the newly adopted Strategy for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Capture Fisheries (Strategy-STF). The Major Programme will continue to devote a substantial part of its resources to support the field programme and the FAO regional fishery commissions and to respond to member countries’ requests.

Programme 2.3.1: Fisheries Information
235.     The programme will continue to provide Members and the international community at large with comprehensive information and statistics on fisheries and aquaculture, in support of status and trends monitoring and analysis, as well as for policy making and sector planning. In addition, it will continue to pursue the development of norms and standards for collection and exchange of fisheries information and statistics.

236.     The Strategy for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Capture Fisheries, which was endorsed by FAO governing bodies and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2003, provides an overall framework for the improvement of data collection, analysis and exchange at the national, regional and global levels. Implementation of the Strategy-STF will benefit from a dedicated FishCode-STF project.

237.     The programme will strive to expand partnerships with regional fisheries bodies and national centres of excellence for the contribution of information to the Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS) module on Fisheries Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS). Even under ZRG conditions, it will probably be necessary to scale down work on fishing fleet statistics, despite increasing demands for such statistics, particularly in support of the IPOA on the management of fishing capacity and the FAO Compliance Agreement.

Programme 2.3.2: Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture
238.     The programme will continue to cover its core areas of work on the identification, cataloguing and mapping of commercially important species and fish resources of the oceans, assessment and monitoring of fishery resources, development and use of research and management methods and techniques (including the production of technical guidelines and development of indicators) aimed at ensuring sustainability of exploited fish resources. Depending on resources available, the programme will also try to address new emerging issues such as identification, mapping, assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystems; possible impacts of climate change; assessment and rebuilding of endangered species (in relation to CITES) and strengthening of current fishery resources monitoring and reporting. Work in these areas will require the building of databases, development of indicators and analytical protocols and improved reporting methods (including GIS) on aspects such as biodiversity, critical or refuge areas, and species interactions.

239.     In addition, in follow-up to the recommendations of the 2nd Session of the COFI Sub-committee on Aquaculture, the programme will work on analysis of development trends and conclude a major global prospective analysis of future aquaculture development based on regional reviews and workshops to be undertaken in eight different regions. Technical reviews and guidelines will be prepared on appropriate stocking schemes of inland fisheries, sea ranching, mariculture and seed and feed use in aquaculture, and also on integrated aquaculture and irrigation in Africa. Other activities will deal with specialised databases and information systems on inland fisheries and aquaculture, including the use of GIS, aquatic animal pathogens and quarantine, species introduction, aquatic biodiversity, feed and nutrient use, national aquaculture sector overviews, national aquaculture legislation fact sheets, aquaculture species fact sheets, and the Information System for the Promotion of Aquaculture in the Mediterranean (SIPAM).

Programme 2.3.3: Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization
240.     The programme will assist countries with regard to fish utilisation and marketing in a manner consistent with national food security objectives. Human capacity-building for small scale fisheries development will be emphasised. Priority will also be given to capacity building in relation to WTO agreements and their application to the fish industry, safety and quality management (with a greater emphasis on aquaculture) as well as activities that arise from the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade and relevant Codex Committees. The small-scale fisheries sector should be enabled to respond to opportunities for access to markets (promotion of appropriate technologies in processing, preservation, transport and storage, all of which can help to increase value-added, and reduce fish spoilage and wastage).

241.     The Programme will also give priority to combating IUU fishing and to evaluating and mitigating the impact of fishing on the environment as well as assessing its effects on small-scale and artisanal fishing communities. In particular, international cooperation on vessel monitoring systems (VMS) will be promoted and guidance will be provided on cost-effective use of monitoring control and surveillance (MCS) assets and technologies. Studies on the physical impact of different fishing gears on the aquatic habitat will be continued and the environmental impact of marine debris and ghost fishing by lost gears will be reviewed. Guidelines and extension materials will promote the use of sustainable, cost-efficient and safe fishing operations.

Programme 2.3.4: Fisheries Policy
242.     The Programme will continue to promote sustainable aquaculture and coastal fisheries, including through support for effective control of access to wild fish stocks, improved access of small-scale fishers to resources and fishing grounds in coastal and inland waters, and participatory resources management. Main issues affecting the conditions of the stocks, particularly overcapacity and its economic and social aspects, will be addressed. Regional fishery bodies and arrangements will be supported, with particular attention given to those recently established (RECOFI and SWIOFC). Reliance upon extra-budgetary funds, especially those made available under the FishCode Programme, will facilitate dissemination of the Code and its International Plans of Action, through workshops at the national and regional levels.

243.     Finally, the programme has a substantial component of direct support to countries in fishery policy and arrangements, in response to demands of Members, which is, however, largely dependent upon the possibility of securing extra-budgetary funding.

Real Growth Scenario

244.     In support of the Strategy-STF, RG would facilitate: further agreements for information exchange, dissemination of tools and procedures; new and improved data collection methodologies, standards and guidelines; and technical assistance to countries for capacity building. Work on fishing fleet statistics would be fully reinstated, allowing FAO to disseminate vessel authorisation information in support of the FAO Compliance Agreement.

245.     The additional funding will allow the Organization to expand work, directly or through partnerships, on the identification, mapping, assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystems relevant to fisheries, the study of possible impacts of climate change on fisheries, and assessment and recovery of endangered species (in relation to CITES), thereby strengthening current global fishery resources monitoring and reporting activities. Increased resources would be devoted to the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture, following the recommendations of the 2001 Reykjavik Conference. A P-4 post of Regional Aquaculture Officer would be created for the RLC39 region.

246.     Furthermore, regional capabilities in fish technology, risk analysis and market information access would be strengthened. Capacity building for small scale fisheries development would be expanded. Taking account of the growing role of regional fishery management bodies and arrangements, more activities could be undertaken aiming to make these bodies - particularly those in Africa - more effective. It would also be possible to better assess the growing interaction between fisheries and the rest of the economy, with emphasis on economic and social aspects.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact

247.     Inevitably, ZNG would negatively affect data quality, timeliness and responses to requests for information under Programme 2.3.1. Work on fishing fleet statistics would be cancelled with consequent impact on monitoring implementation of the IPOA on fishing capacity, and FAO not being able to meet its obligations for the exchange of vessel information under Article VI of the Compliance Agreement.

248.     Under Programme 2.3.2, reductions would force the Organization to scale down or stop altogether work in some areas where it has demonstrated to have clear comparative advantages vis-à-vis other organizations (such as the identification and cataloguing of commercial fish species, assessment and monitoring of world marine fishery resources, development and adaptation of indicators, guidelines and methodologies for fishery resources assessments and fisheries management). Other areas would need to be reduced significantly, caused by the possible elimination of a professional post, resulting in delays in the implementation of the recommendations of the last COFI Sub-committee on Aquaculture.

249.     Under Programmes 2.3.3 and 2.3.4, the number of national and regional workshops and meetings would be reduced, which would negatively affect implementation of the programmes. It would not be possible to convene workshops for the promotion of sustainable aquaculture, projection of world fish consumption by country in 2020 would not be undertaken, while technical meetings would be reduced as well as publications. Less support to regional fishery bodies would be another inevitable consequence.

39 Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean