FAO Home>Fisheries & Aquaculture
FAO of the UN


Since the first meeting of FAO and Non-FAO Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs) or Arrangements took place in February 1999, ten others have been held in the margins of FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI). These meetings have provided valuable opportunities for all RFB s established both within and outside the framework of FAO to exchange information on current challenges and emerging issues experienced by RFBs.

During the 2005 meeting of RFBs, participants agreed to change the meeting title to "RFB Secretariats' Network". This new title emphasized both network support and ongoing engagement intersessionally between formal meetings. The first meeting of the Regional Fishery Body Secretariats' Network (RSN) was held in March 2007 as the fifth biennial meeting among RFBs.

The RSN was established to facilitate information exchange among RFB Secretariats. In part this is being done through the biannual production and distribution of the RSN Newsletter which is published by FAO and based on contributions from the RFBs and other RSN relevant partners.

RSN meetings are autonomous initiatives. FAO provides the venue and secretariat services to the Network meetings. The Chair of the RSN works closely with the Secretary of the RSN, provided by FAO, and is responsible for meeting logistics, oversight and functioning. The current chair is Mr. Guillermo Compeán, Director of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). The FAO secretary position of the RSN is currently held by Dr. Piero Mannini, Senior Fishery Liaison Officer of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO.

Inquiries can be addressed to [email protected].

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Participants to the Seventh Meeting of Regional Fishery Body Secretariat’s Network held in FAO HQ, 7 and 13 July 2018

RSN/RFB Meetings
Since the inaugural session in 1999, the biennial RSN meetings have facilitated discussion and information sharing among all bodies. These meetings address the outcomes of COFI and focus on issues of major importance to the RFBs, including the role of RFBs in global and regional fisheries processes. A major thrust with respect to strengthened cooperation among FAO and non-FAO RFBs and arrangements was provided by the 1998 High-Level Panel of External Experts in Fisheries, appointed by the Director-General of FAO to consider, inter alia, future challenges in fisheries governance. The panel addressed FAO's role in working to encourage more coherent management approaches among RFBs, and recommended that FAO should, inter alia, convene a special meeting of FAO and non-FAO bodies in order to:

  • identify and address common problems and constraints;
  • develop strategies and mechanisms to address constraints;
  • share experiences and lessons learned; and
  • improve the effectiveness of the RFBs.

In addition, the 1999 Progress Report on the Implementation of Conference Resolution 13/97 (Review of FAO Statutory Bodies and the Strengthening of FAO Regional Fishery Bodies) noted that, despite a need for effective RFB cooperation, there was no formal working relationship between COFI and non-FAO RFBs. And while the report acknowledged significant improvements in the performance of RFBs over the last decade, it stated that many factors have hindered these bodies from being more effective. The Twenty-third COFI in 1999 commended FAO for conveying a meeting of FAO and Non-FAO RFBs and recommended that such meetings be held on regular basis.

If you want to know more, visit the page

From RFB meetings to the Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network (RSN)
Powered by FIGIS