2. Mr J. Møller-Christensen, Director of the Danish Institute for Fisheries and Marine Research, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Danish Minister of Fisheries, Mr Henning Grove. He stated that even if Denmark is primarily a sea fishing country, inland waters also contain resources of high value for sport and commercial fishermen. While marine fisheries is faced with the problem of overfishing, freshwater fisheries are vulnerable to other threats, in particular modification of fish habitats. Fisheries and environment management is thus necessary and the basis for management is research. Great responsibilities therefore rest upon the scientists and administrators dealing with the problems of exploitation of living resources, and international cooperation is indispensable since these problems are worldwide.
3. On behalf of Mr E. Saouma, Director-General of FAO, and Mr J. E. Carroz, Assistant Director-General (Fisheries), Mr A. Coche thanked the Danish Government for its invitation. He expressed his satisfaction that a session of EIFAC was being held in Denmark, a country which has achieved surprising results in the fields of inland water fisheries and aquaculture. He underlined the necessity for EIFAC to maintain its vitality and dynamism, thus continuing to serve as a model for other regional FAO fishery commissions, particularly those made of developing countries.
4. The Chairman of EIFAC, Mr G. Leynaud, also welcomed the participants. He then referred to the urgent and complex problems faced by the Commission: shifting from mere fish gathering to management of resources, development of fish culture and increase of pollution. However, the resources are also threatened by the many ground modifications and hydraulic works and the multiple actions which modify habitat, hence, the timeliness of the symposium organized in conjunction with the thirteenth session.
EIFAC, continued the Chairman, has been able to seriously identify and study these problems; it is also in a position to provide an efficient assistance to its Member States and also to the developing countries with which it has established a real collaboration.
The Chairman concluded in thanking the Danish Government for its invitation and the facilities provided to the meeting which would contribute to make it profitable and pleasant.