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Major Programme 2.3: Fisheries

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work ZNG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG 2006-07 Programme of Work Trust Fund
231 Fisheries Information 7,573 7,548 6,933 7,858 1,893
232 Fisheries Resources and Aquaculture 12,358 12,672 11,824 13,172 17,413
233 Fisheries Exploitation and Utilisation 9,882 9,993 9,314 10,753 4,131
234 Fisheries Policy 11,406 10,887 10,234 11,402 24,334
239 Programme Management 6,003 6,386 6,050 6,386 0
Total 47,223 47,487 44,353 49,572 47,771
Programme Change from 2004-05 Programme of Work at MP level 264 (2,869) 2,349  
Percent Change 0.6% (6.1%) 5.0%  


Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

352.     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.

353.     It will actively contribute to meet the goal of the World Food Summit and the Millennium Declaration of halving hunger by 2015. Emphasis will be given to activities aiming to increase the contribution of small-scale fisheries, which often supply fish and fishery products to local markets, to food security and poverty alleviation.

354.     The importance 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).

355.     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 fishery bodies (RFBs) 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 countries’ requests. In line with the recommendations of the last COFI and ensuing Ministerial Conference, the major programme will ensure due FAO participation in international reconstruction efforts in Tsunami-affected areas.

Programme 2.3.1: Fisheries Information

356.     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.

357.     The Strategy-STF which was endorsed by FAO governing bodies and the UNGA114 in 2003, provides an overall framework for the improvement of data collection, analysis and exchange at the national, regional and global levels; implementation will benefit from a dedicated FishCode-STF project.

358.     The programme will strive to expand partnerships with RFBs and national centres of excellence for the contribution of information to the Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS) module on Fisheries Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS).

359.     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

360.     The programme will continue to cover the core areas of work established by COFI 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 aimed at ensuring sustainability of exploited fish resources. An electronic archive of geographical distribution and data on marine species of commercial importance will be expanded and major contributions will be made to various fisheries global information systems and to other regional and global initiatives to assess and report on the state of living marine resources of the oceans and related ecosystems. The programme will continue to give particular attention to the monitoring of key national, regional and global marine fisheries, to the updating of the review of the state of marine fishery resources of the world, the development of indicators, as well as to the production of summary reviews, manuals and technical guidelines to promote improved assessment and management of fishery resources in line with the CCRF and the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF).

361.     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 CITES115); marine protected areas (MPAs) 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 GIS116) on aspects such as biodiversity, critical or refuge areas, and species interactions.

362.     In follow-up to the recommendations of the COFI Subcommittee 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. The Third Session of the COFI Subcommittee on Aquaculture will be held in 2006. Technical reviews and guidelines will be prepared on issues such as: appropriate stocking schemes and habitat rehabilitation of inland fisheries, sea ranching, mariculture, seed and feed use in aquaculture, and also integrated aquaculture and irrigation in Africa. Other activities will deal with specialised databases and information systems on inland fisheries and aquaculture.

Programme 2.3.3: Fisheries Exploitation and Utilisation

363.     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 WTO117 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 Subcommittee 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).

364.     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 assets and technologies. This will include further work on catch documentation, as requested by the last COFI. 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

365.     The programme will continue promoting the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, its related instruments and other relevant international instruments, and elaborate additional guidelines (e.g. on capacity and small-scale fisheries). Technical assistance will be provided for the development of regional and national plans of action (NPOAs). Special attention will be given to IUU fishing and to port State measures. Support will be given toward sustainable capture fisheries and the development of sustainable aquaculture. The socio-economic, institutional and policy aspects of overcapacity, access to resources and fishing grounds in coastal and inland waters, participatory resources management, deep sea fisheries, marine protected areas, the ecosystem approach to fisheries, monitoring, control and surveillance will be addressed.

366.     Regarding subsidies, the programme of work approved by COFI will be carried out, including on the role of subsidies in small-scale and artisanal fisheries and their impact on fishing capacity and on fisheries management in general. As more specifically underlined at the last COFI, guidelines on ecolabelling of fish and fishery products from capture fisheries will be developed and similar guidelines for inland fisheries will be prepared. Cooperation with other IGOs118 will be strengthened and active participation ensured in the international fora where fisheries are discussed (e.g. the UNFSA119 Review Conference in 2006). The gaps in regional cooperation will be reviewed and support given to regional fishery bodies and arrangements, particularly those recently established (RECOFI120 and SWIOFC121).

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

Real Growth Scenario

368.     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 reinstated, allowing FAO to fully address the issue of vessel authorisation information in support of the FAO Compliance Agreement.

369.     The additional funding would 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 RLC region.

370.     Furthermore, regional capabilities in fish technology, risk analysis and market information access would be strengthened. Capacity-building would be expanded in areas such as small scale fisheries, MCS, port State measures and more support given toward sustainable capture fisheries and the development of sustainable aquaculture. 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. More outputs would be included addressing e.g. the socio-economic, institutional and policy aspects of overcapacity and the role of capture fisheries and aquaculture in the economy.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact

371.     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 many of its obligations for the exchange of vessel information under Article VI of the Compliance Agreement.

372.     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, due to the possible elimination of a professional post, resulting in delays in the implementation of the recommendations of the last COFI Subcommittee on Aquaculture.

373.     Under Programmes 2.3.3 and 2.3.4, the number of planned 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 and for projection of world fish consumption by country in 2020, while technical meetings would be reduced as well as publications. Less support to regional fishery bodies would be another inevitable consequence.

Extra-budgetary resources

374.     Under Programme 2.3.1, the first component of the project (FishCode-STF) launched in 2004 under the Strategy-STF will continue to develop and promote improved methodologies for fishery data collection. Funds will be sought to launch a second component for capacity-building on data collection and analysis.

375.     Under Programme 2.3.2, several trust fund projects will support monitoring, assessment and management of marine fishery resources: Scientific Cooperation to Support Responsible Fisheries in the Adriatic Sea (AdriaMed); Assessment and Monitoring of the Fishery Resources and the Ecosystems in the Straits of Sicily (MedSudMed); Cooperation Networks to Facilitate Coordination to Support Fisheries Management in the Western and Central Mediterranean (COPEMED II); Scientific Basis for Ecosystem-based Management in the Lesser Antilles; Capacity-building for an Ecosystem Approach; Interaction between Sea Turtles and Fisheries within an Ecosystem approach to Fisheries Management; Protection of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem; International Cooperation on Fisheries Management and Marine Environment and "Towards Sustainable Aquaculture: Selected Issues and Guidelines".

376.     Extra-budgetary resources under 2.3.3 will be in terms of the GEF122-funded project entitled: "Reduction of environmental impact from tropical shrimp trawling, through the introduction of by-catch reduction technologies and changes of management", which is closely linked to entity 233A6, as well as the Umbrella II capacity-building programme for fisheries and multilateral trade negotiations in West Africa. Pipeline projects may also become operational for the rehabilitation/reconstruction of fisheries in Tsunami-affected areas.

377.     Under Programme 2.3.4, significant extra-budgetary contributions come from the Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (SFLP) which operates in 25 West African countries. Other contributions are grouped under the Programme of Global Partnerships for Responsible Fisheries and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. Furthermore, additional resources are expected from either international financial institutions (for instance the Strategic Partnership for a Sustainable Fisheries Investment Fund in the Large Marine Ecosystems of Sub-Saharan Africa) or trust funds donors, such as the project on: Support for the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development or for strengthening RFBs, e.g. the project for facilitating the formation of a regional fisheries arrangement for the management of sustainable non-tuna fisheries in the southwest Indian Ocean.


114 United Nations General Assembly

115 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

116 Geographical Information System

117 World Trade Organization

118 Intergovernmental Organizations

119 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement

120 Regional Commission for Fisheries

121 South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission

122 Global Environment Facility

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