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State of fisheries and aquaculture review on meeting agenda

The 23rd session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) convened at FAO headquarters in Rome from 15 to 19 February. COFI is the only global intergovernmental forum where major international fisheries and aquaculture problems and issues are examined and recommendations are made with a view to concerted action by governments, FAO, intergovernmental bodies and the civil society.

Agenda items discussed at the 23rd session of COFI included:

  • Integrated resource management for sustainable inland fish production;
  • Progress report on the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;
  • Fisheries and aquaculture issues in small island developing states;
  • Future challenges in world fisheries and aquaculture;
  • FAO Strategic Framework (2000-2015) and implications for the medium-term for fisheries programmes.

"The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 1998" - the recently published global review of the current state of fisheries and aquaculture - was also be presented at the meeting.

SOFIA 1998 "examines developments in the sector from the perspective of sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture", says Moritaka Hayashi, Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries Department, in the report's foreword. He continues: "The report aims to shed light on the need for and effects of good governance in fisheries and aquaculture, while also highlighting two closely related issues: the establishment of an enabling environment for aquaculture activity and the integration of fisheries into coastal zone management".

Other selected issues facing fishers and aquaculturists discussed indepth in SOFIA 1998 include the control and reduction of fishing capacity, and the reduction of bycatch and discards. Expected trends in supply and demand are provided, as well as reports on fisheries activities of country groupings.

"The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 1998" is illustrated with 44 graphics and 17 tables, clearly presenting the latest data available on the wide variety of issues covered in the report. The 112-page publication is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish. To order a copy of SOFIA 1998, contact: FAO Sales and Marketing Group, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy, or E-mail Publications-sales@FAO.Org.

15 February 1999

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