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  1. Objective and functions
  2. Area of competence
  3. Species and stocks coverage
  4. Legal framework
  5. Languages
  6. Members
  7. Structure
  8. Publications
  9. Further information
Objective and functions

The objective of the Commission for Small-Scale and Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPESAALC) is to promote the sustainable development and management of inland fisheries and aquaculture, according to the norms and principles of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

COPPESAALC’s functions are:

  1. Support the formulation of national and regional development and management plans of inland fisheries and aquaculture, that include all relevant social, environmental, economic and cultural aspects of member states;
  2. Promote and coordinate research at national and regional levels, aimed at the sustainable development and management of inland fisheries and aquaculture;
  3. Support the sustainable development of small scale inland fisheries and aquaculture;
  4. Promote activities aimed at protecting the ecosystems where inland fisheries and aquaculture take place, including, if pertinent, re-stocking;
  5. Promote the application of the Ecosystems Approach to fisheries and aquaculture; as well as adequate biosecurity and certification measures;
  6. Identify social, institutional and economic factors that limit the development of inland fisheries and aquaculture, and recommend measures to improve the living conditions of their actors;
  7. Contribute to the sustainable management and economic and social impact assessment of sports fishing;
  8. Incentivize the application of better management practices and sustainable technologies in inland fisheries and aquaculture, according to FAO´s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries;
  9. Promote better post-harvest and trade practices of inland fisheries and aquaculture products, according to internationally accepted food safety agreements;
  10. Contribute to the creation of institutional capacity and to the formation of human resources, through training, extension services and technology transfer, in collaboration with national and regional institutions;
  11. Contribute to data collection, analysis and the exchange of inland fisheries and aquaculture statistics;
  12. Assist Member States, upon their request, in the formulation of national and regional strategies for the sustainable management and exploitation of transboundary fishery resources.
  13. Support Member States in the formulation of national and regional plans and projects, funded at a national or international level, aimed at achieving results in the fields mentioned in all previous paragraphs;
  14. Promote the updating and harmonization of national inland fisheries and aquaculture legal frameworks;
  15. Mobilize both financial and in-kind resources, to do the activities that are projected, including the formation of fiduciary funds, if needed;
  16. Stimulate collaboration among Member States and between them and international organizations.
Area of competenceMarine coastal and inland waters of member countries.
COPPESAALC area of competence - Inland waters, National waters
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
Species and stocks coverage All species that sustain marine coastal and inland small-scale fisheries of member countries. Legal framework

COPESCAL (now COPPESAALC) was established in 1976 by Resolution 4/70 of the FAO Council under Article VI-1 of the FAO Constitution. Its statutes were approved by the Council in Resolution 4/70 and its Rules of Procedures were adopted by the Commission at its First session in 1979. They were reviewed in 2008, and the modifications approved by the FAO Council in 2009.

The statutes are available in Spanish, English, and French here:

COPPESAALC (formerly COPESCAL) - Statutes
LanguagesEnglish, French, Spanish. Members

Membership is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the FAO which are serviced by the Regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean. Eligible Member Nations and Associate Members shall notify the Director-General of the FAO of their desire to be considered as Members.

Current members: Argentina, Bolivia (Plurinat.State), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Boliv Rep of Venezuela.


The main body is the Commission, which normally meets every two years. The Secretariat is provided by FAO. It is based at the Regional office for Latin America, and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile. Its website is: http://www.rlc.fao.org/en/about-fao/statutory-bodies/commission-for-inland-fisheries-and-aquaculture-of-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-copescaalc/

COPESCAALC is a member of the Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network that meets biennially.


Further information

Alejandro Flores Nava

Senior Fisheries Officer FAORLC


FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC)
Casilla 10095, Santiago
FAO Representation Dag Hammarskjold 3241, Vitacura

Telephone: +56 2 2923-2170

Email: [email protected]

Web site: http://www.fao.org/americas/copescaalc/en/

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