CL 128/INF/9


Hundred and Twenty-eighth Session

Rome, 20-25 June 2005


1. At its Twenty-ninth Session in November 1997, the FAO Conference, by Resolution 18/97, instituted the Margarita Lizárraga Medal to be awarded biennially by the Conference upon the proposal of the Council to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

2. The Medal pays tribute to the late Dr. Margarita Saucedo Lizárraga, Senior Fishery Liaison Officer for her decisive role in promoting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (the Code), for her productive work in the field of fisheries for almost forty years, for her great dedication to FAO and for her strong commitment towards fostering the promotion of the fisheries sector, especially in developing countries.

3. The Selection Committee for the award, composed of the Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department, and the Bureau of the Twenty-sixth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), met in Rome on 9 March 2005. The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Director-General, representing the Director-General.

4. The Selection Committee reviewed the seven nominations for the 2004-2005 biennium on the basis of the following criteria:

Outstanding, practical and a hands-on contribution to the application of the Code;

The output should be tangible;

Be a sustained effort and not a one off initiative and;

Have the potential for a snow-ball/catalytic effect.

5. The Selection Committee unanimously agreed to award the Margarita Lizárraga Medal to the Agreement on International Dophin Conservation Program (AIDCP).

6. The Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP) is an international agreement whose objective is to progressively reduce dolphin mortality in the tuna purse-seine fishery in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), and to ensure the sustainability of tuna stocks and associated species in the EPO pelagic ecosystem. The Parties to the Agreement are Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the European Union, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the United States, Vanuatu, and Venezuela. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) provides the Secretariat and other services for the Agreement. The AIDCP has been an unqualified success and has diligently applied the relevant principles set forth in the Code, in particular those aspects relating to the precautionary approach and to the utilization of fishing gear and techniques which minimize the catch of non-target species. The enormous reduction in dolphin mortality attributable to the Agreement, while maintaining sustainable fisheries, is a practical, hands-on contribution. The results are tangible and measurable. The process established by the Agreement is continuous and not a one-off phenomenon. And the success of the AIDCP has the potential to be catalytic.


7. The Council is invited to endorse the nomination of the International Dolphin Conservation Program and recommend that the Medal be presented to the representative of the Agreement by the Director-General as part of the proceedings of the Thirty-third Session of the Conference.