FAO Fisheries Department

Another gap in global coverage of fisheries management resolved



Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission Inaugurated

The Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CACFish) was officially inaugurated at a meeting opened by FAO’s Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Árni M. Mathiesen.

Concluding a preparatory process which started in November 2008, the Members of the Commission, in collaboration with Observers, endorsed the Rules of Procedures, Financial Regulations, 5-Year Regional Work Programme, Logo and a range of technical advice and recommendations.

Since early 2011, the Commission, a statutory body of the FAO, has been active in promoting the development, conservation, rational management and best utilization of living aquatic resources and the sustainable development of aquaculture in its member countries. CACFish fills a gap in the global map of regional fishery bodies, aiming to ensure that the fish stocks in inland waters of Central Asia and the Caucasus are properly managed to benefit current and future generations.

Technical advice endorsed by the meeting for region wide implementation includes:

•Guidelines for Sturgeon Hatchery practices and management for release;

•Recommendations of the Regional Study on the “Feasibility of Restocking and Culture-based Fisheries in Central Asia”;

•Better Management Practices for Carp Production in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia; and

•Conclusions and Recommendations of the Regional Workshop on Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics, Information, and Trends: Improving Data Collection, Analyses and Dissemination.

Mr Mathiesen opened the Session and stressed FAO’s commitment to continued support in the Region. In reviewing the history of CACFish he congratulated the Members at this historic moment and wished the new Regional Fishery Body a bright future in carrying out its duties, which are of paramount importance for future generations.

In his acceptance speech, the Chairperson of the Commission, Mr Nihad Pakdel (Turkey) called upon the observer states to speed-up their national acceptance processes for membership of the Commission. He expressed his desire to bring on board all Central Asian and Caucasus countries and that he would make every possible effort towards this, as only genuine regional collaboration can alleviate the crisis in the region’s fisheries. The Members thanked the Government of Turkey for its generous contribution to the establishment process of the Commission.

The chairmanship, supported by vice-chairs from Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, stressed the importance of finalizing the regional strategy on responsible introductions and transfers of fish species, as well as the significance of the ongoing work on fisheries co-management and sustainable aquaculture in the region. They emphasized that priority should be given to further capacity building on fisheries and aquaculture in the region, which is largely composed of former Soviet States.

Ongoing national and regional level projects of FAO, in close cooperation with the Governments of Turkey and Finland, are providing technical advice and guidance to the Commission; a number of projects and programmes are under development to assist individual member countries and potential donors are being approached.

The Secretariat of the Commission is provided by FAO's Sub-regional Office for Central Asia in Ankara, Turkey. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Commission was established by the meeting. Ms Svetlana Balkhova (Tajikistan) was elected chairperson. The first session of the TAC is scheduled to take place in Ukraine in September 2012.

Meeting documents in Russian and English