FAO Fisheries Department - Committee on Fisheries
December 1996 COFI/97/Inf.8


Twenty-second Session
Rome, Italy 17-20 March 1997

This document provides information on the recent changes concerning the FAO fishery bodies established under Articles VI and XIV of the FAO Constitution


1.    This document provides information on the changes in the structure and functions of the FAO fishery bodies established under Articles VI and XIV of the FAO Constitution. Information on the developments which have directly affected FAO bodies is given in the relevant paragraph dealing with each body.

a)     Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC)

2.    The Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission approved by the FAO Council in November 1993, entered into force on 27 March 1996. The membership of the Commission (as of 1 August 1996) consists of Eritrea, European Community, India, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Madagascar, Mauritius, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. The First Session of the Commission will be held in Rome, from 3 to 6 December 1996. It may be noted that two other international conventions affecting the work of IOTC, i.e., the Western Indian Ocean Tuna Organization Convention (WIOTO) and the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) entered into force in 1994.

b)     Committee for Inland Fisheries of Africa (CIFA)

3.    There has been no change in the Statutes of CIFA. The Convention for the Establishment of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, signed in June 1994, entered into force on 24 May 1996. When this is in operation, the present CIFA Sub-Committee for the Development and Management of the Fisheries of Lake Victoria will be abolished.

c)     Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC)

4.    The Agreement establishing the Indo-Pacific Fishery Commission (IPFC) was amended by the Commission at its Twenty-fourth Session in 1993. The amendments were approved by the FAO Council in November 1994. They included the change of the title of the Commission from Indo-Pacific Fishery Commission to Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) as well as changes in the structure of its subsidiary bodies with new terms of reference. The Commission's new structure consists of: Executive Committee, Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Committee, Committee on Marine Fisheries, Working Party on Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, Working Party on Marine Fisheries, Joint Working Party on Fish Technology and Marketing, and Joint Working Party on Fishery Statistics and Economics.

d)     General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (GFCM)

5.    The GFCM, at its Twentieth Session (Malta, July 1993), requested the Secretariat to prepare draft amendments to the GFCM Agreement and Rules of Procedure in order to: (i) allow the participation of the European Community in the GFCM; (ii) expand the Executive Committee to include representation from different GFCM sub-regions; (iii) change the name of the Council to Commission; (iv) create a new Committee for Aquaculture replacing the Working Party on Artificial Reefs and Mariculture; and (v) set up a Scientific Committee to review and coordinate research activities and scientific publications related to Mediterranean fisheries. The Twenty-first Session of the Council (Alicante, May 1995) agreed on the creation of the Committee on Aquaculture, but decided that amendments to the Agreement required further consultation by the Member Countries and should be submitted to an Extraordinary Session of the Council to be convened upon receipt of a formal request from the European Community for membership in GFCM.

e)     European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC)

6.    At its Nineteenth Session, held in Dublin in June 1996, an ad hoc meeting of the EIFAC National Correspondents discussed the report of the Executive Committee on the structure of the Commission and agreed that a new Sub-Commission IV dealing with social and economic issues be established. The four Sub-Commissions of the Commission, the activities of which are subject to the approval of the FAO Council, are as follows:

Sub-Commission I:Biology and Management
Sub-Commission II:Aquaculture
Sub-Commission III:Protection of the Aquatic Resources
Sub-Commission IV:Social and Economic Issues

These Sub-Commissions would regroup existing and possible new activities.

f)     Indian Ocean Fishery Commission (IOFC)

7.    With the establishment of IOTC, the IOFC Committee for the Management of Indian Ocean Tuna, which has not met since July 1990 will be abolished. Furthermore, the Commission at its Tenth Session held in Mombasa, Kenya, in November 1994, approved new Terms of Reference for the IOFC Committee for the Development and Management of Fisheries in the Southwest Indian Ocean.

g)     Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics (CWP)

8.    The Statutes of CWP adopted by Resolution 23/59 of the FAO Conference in 1959, had limited the area of activities of CWP to the North Atlantic. The Statutes of CWP were amended and approved by the FAO Council in June 1995, removing geographical limitation of the Working Party. It now covers the standards for statistics of all fisheries, including aquaculture, on a global basis. Its membership is composed of FAO, the International Commission for the Conservation fo Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). SPC and IWC are expected to become members at the next session.