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Prospectus of the Consultation

1. Background information

The FAO Regional Project AdriaMed, “Scientific Cooperation to Support Responsible Fisheries in the Adriatic Sea” was established to contribute to the promotion of cooperative fishery management between the participating countries (the Republics of Albania, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia), in line with the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) adopted by FAO.

Particular attention is given to encouraging and sustaining a smooth process of international collaboration between the Adriatic Sea coastal countries in formulating and implementing cooperative fishery management plans. Consideration is also given to strengthening technical coordination between the national fishery research institutes and administrators, as well as between the fishery organizations and relevant stakeholders of the Adriatic countries. The AdriaMed Coordination Committee was established to discuss, orientate and approve the work programmes of the Project and to monitor and assist in coordinating Project activities.

During the first meeting of the AdriaMed Coordination Committee (Termoli, March 2000), delegates recognised the important issue of responsible aquaculture. Aquaculture could determine market and environment effects on fisheries activities and particularly on the prime species market. The Committee suggested that AdriaMed organize an expert consultation on the interactions between aquaculture and capture fisheries.

This initiative would represent a contribution at basin level towards the establishment and implementation of the principles of the CCRF concerning responsible aquaculture activities. Furthermore the results of such an expert consultation could support the Adriatic countries in promoting guidance, which may be used in the development of national fisheries strategic policies and to advance relevant issues at sub-regional level.

During the Consultation on the “Application of Article 9 of the CCRF in the Mediterranean Region”, held in Rome in July 1999, interaction and potential conflicts between resource users in the Mediterranean had already been highlighted, and enhancement of harmonisation between aquaculture development and environmental conservation was recommended. Moreover, during the Twenty-fourth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), held in Rome at FAO HQ, in 2001, in-depth research on the relationship between aquaculture and fisheries was recommended. The recommendation of the Code regarding the interaction of aquaculture with the fishery sector was also recalled during the First COFI Aquaculture Sub-Committee held in Beijing in April 2002.

Within the framework of cooperation with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and according to its mandate, AdriaMed introduced this initiative during the Second Committee on Aquaculture (CAQ) of the GFCM. At the Third CAQ-GFCM in September 2002, the Committee confirmed that priority should be given to issues concerning “Interactions between Aquaculture and Capture Fisheries” and invited the AdriaMed Regional Project to consider welcoming the participation of experts from the CAQ at the Consultation.

The aims of this Expert Consultation are to have an exhaustive description and analysis of the aquaculture sector in the countries which border the Adriatic Sea and to improve the knowledge of the relationship between aquaculture and capture fisheries in the area. The Expert Consultation will take into due consideration the current levels of aquaculture development and expectations in the Adriatic countries. The results of this Expert Consultation could also be useful to other Mediterranean areas.

2. Objectives and expected outputs of the Expert Consultation

The principal objective of the Expert Consultation will be to explore the main issues dealing with interactions between aquaculture and capture fisheries using the existing knowledge available at Adriatic basin level. The national contributions should provide background information on the aquaculture sector in the Adriatic countries. Furthermore, on the basis of the information available, a preliminary commented inventory of the main (or potential) relationships will be presented and discussed, including mention of: local fishing communities (i.e., competition for coastal area use), the impact of aquaculture on local aquatic resources (i.e., genetic pollution, exotic species introduction, pathology spreads), market competition, quality products, mechanisms to control and prevent competition as well as existing agreements.

The Expert Consultation will provide specific recommendations related to the interactions of aquaculture and capture fisheries using the systemic approach (ecology, economy, governance, legal framework). The Expert Consultation will be an opportunity to generate information to create a data base set on the status of aquaculture. The identification of some reliable indicators will help future analysis

The report of the Expert Consultation will be issued in the AdriaMed Technical Document Series and it will be widely distributed and made available on the Internet through the AdriaMed website. Furthermore, the results of the Expert Consultation will be presented to the Adriatic countries through the AdriaMed Project Coordination Committee, as well as being reported to the GFCM and the CAQ.

3. Organization

The following two phases are proposed for consideration:

In the first phase, general preparatory documents will present the status of aquaculture and fisheries in the Adriatic Sea: these include the Aquaculture Profiles of the Adriatic countries (Albania, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia) and the presentation of the Adriatic capture fisheries profiles at sub-regional level. In these background documents the more relevant topics on the relationship between aquaculture and capture fisheries will be considered.

In the second phase a discussion will be held on four thematic areas considered relevant for the Expert Consultation. The first theme will concern general issues related to the interactions between aquaculture and capture fisheries; a further two themes will deal with conflicts between aquaculture and capture fisheries concerning quality products on the market and the fourth theme will concern a case study: tuna farming. Discussion of the thematic areas will be conducted in plenary or in sub-groups, depending on what emerges from phase one of the Expert Consultation and on the background papers presented.

4. Participants

The Expert Consultation will be attended by national and international experts on aquaculture and fisheries. The multidisciplinary participation of experts and fishery administration representatives, as well as the presentation of further scientific contributions from outside the Adriatic Region are encouraged. Participants from other regions are also welcomed.

5. Date and venue

The Expert Consultation will be held in Rome from 5 to 7 November 2003, hosted by the Fisheries Directorate of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies (MiPAF).

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