The FAO Committee of Fisheries (COFI) gives its support to the Global Record
The 2005 Rome Declaration on IUU fishing (Ministerial Conference) recognized the Global Record as one of the key tools to fight IUU fishing and called for the development of a comprehensive global record of fishing vessels within FAO.
Consequently, during the last five sessions of the COFI, under the agenda item "Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing", the Committee reiterated its support for the continued development of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record).
The last session of COFI took place in June 2014. In this 31st Session the member delegations agreed to the following points:
» Excerpt from the 31st Session of COFI
"40. Recognizing the role of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record) in the concerted fight against IUU fishing, the Committee:
(a) reiterated its support for the Global Record’s continued development by FAO and commended FAO on the preparation of the strategy document and the demonstration of the prototype;
(b) welcomed FAO’s efforts in coordinating the Global Record with other existing systems to keep it cost-effective, while working towards standardization at the global level;
(c) appreciated the collaboration with IMO in extending its ship identification number scheme to fishing vessels and agreed that the IMO number should be used as the Global Record’s unique vessel identifier for Phase 1;
(d) noted that several RFMOs have made provisions for the IMO number to be compulsory in their convention areas;
(e) agreed that States were responsible for the data and its provision to the Global Record, possibly through RFMOs, and
(f) appreciated FAO’s continued assistance to developing States.
41. Some Members recognized the need for an advisory committee to clarify outstanding issues and to find a solution for the long-term financing.
APPENDIX D. Spain announced a contribution of 250 000 EUR to FAO for the establishment of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels as a new concrete tool to fight IUU fishing and related activities."
The last session of COFI took place in July 2012. In this 30th session the member delegations agreed to the following points:
» Excerpt from the 30th Session of COFI
"56. In relation to the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels, the Committee:
(a) reiterated its support for the Global Record's continued development by FAO, using a phased approach, with some members having concern for the need to avoid duplication, to keep it cost-effective and to ensure coordination with other existing initiatives;
(b) recognized the necessity of a global unique vessel identifier (UVI), as a key component of the Global Record to identify and track vessels;
(c) suggested the UVI, as a first step, be applied to vessels above 100 GRT;
(d) noted the necessity for RFMOs to coordinate their vessel records with the Global Record; and
(e) appreciated FAO's work to assist developing States to strengthen their national or regional vessel registries".
» Excerpt from 29th Session of COFI (2011)
"36. The Committee noted the recommendations of the November 2010 Technical Consultation on the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record), and reiterated its support for the Global Record as one of the useful tools to combat IUU fishing. The Committee also recognized the need for further work to refine some of the terms used in the recommendations for establishing the Global Record.
37. The Committee recognized that the Global Record should be developed as a voluntary initiative under FAO's supervision with a need for flexibility and a phased approach to implementation. The Committee indicated that the development of the Global Record should be done in a cost-effective manner, taking advantage of existing systems and information technology (IT) platforms, where possible. To achieve efficiencies, the Committee proposed that FAO further consults with other organizations, particularly IMO, IHS-Fairplay and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), as appropriate. To support the Global Record as a long-term initiative, the Committee indicated its preference for the use of FAO Regular Programme funds to the extent possible, supplemented as required, by extra-budgetary funding.
» Excerpt from 28th Session of COFI (2009)
"71. The Committee was informed about the outcome of the Expert Consultation on the Development of a Comprehensive Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels held in Rome, Italy, from 25 to 28 February 2008 and the subsequent activities undertaken as recommended by the Expert Consultation. Many Members supported the development of a Global Record. Some Members highlighted the importance of cost effectiveness and considered. Further study was necessary on the necessity and practicability of this issue and other related issues. They stressed the value of building on existing vessel data bases and particularly the work of RFMO/As, some of which were developing unique vessel identifier systems. A future programme of work was supported that should include assessing user needs, include the needs of developing countries, convening a broad-based Steering Committee, designing and implementing a pilot project and preparing a comprehensive technical report which could lead to a Technical Consultation on the global record".
» Excerpt from 27th Session of COFI (2007)
"Paragraph 70. The Committee supported the convening of an Expert Consultation to further develop the concept of a comprehensive global record of fishing vessels as described in FAO's feasibility study, mindful of the need to clarify the project's objectives, sensitivity to costs, confidentiality requirements and the need to link it to other reliable information sources such as national registers and RFMO lists".