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C. Forestry and forest products

IN DEDICATING itself to the goal of freedom from want, FAO must devote a major effort to restoration of the world's forests and to the effective use of their products.

There is a shortage of wood despite the fact that the world has more than enough forest soil to provide wood for the earth's peoples and that with proper forest management and utilization enough wood could be produced to supply all existing needs.

The present lumber and housing shortage is serious. Millions of buildings are in need of repairs; millions of new buildings are needed to restore housing standards to prewar levels. World supplies of lumber are already insufficient to meet current demands, and when reconstruction programs attain full momentum the deficit will be even greater.

In addition, there is a long-standing wood deficit, of which the present critical shortage of structural wood is only a part and which, in many parts of the world, has had pernicious affect for decades. This shortage is all the more serious because of rising demands for wood for pulp and for a growing wood chemical industry.

The causes of this critical situation are basic and include deforestation, inadequate forest management, failure to develop mature forests, incomplete utilization, and insufficient technical personnel.

Abnormal demands in certain areas, brought about by the impact of war. have resulted in heavy overcutting, and the seemingly inexhaustible nature of our supplies of standing timber has resulted in carelessness and destructive forest management. Deforestation has brought about the total annihilation of forests over wide areas, with resultant lowering of living standards, erosion, and adverse climatic conditions. It has seriously affected over half the world's population, yet these denuded areas, if reforested and properly handled, could again become large producers of forest products.

Great additional supplies of wood might be made available through developing the untapped forests in the tropics and through exploiting stands at present considered economically inaccessible by applying better logging methods and using modern equipment.

Steps toward better management of the world's forests, however, will be impossible without greatly augmenting the numbers of technically trained foresters. In like manner, improved utilization of wood is unlikely unless the number of wood technicians and chemists is greatly increased and their work coordinated.

Lack of information has been another obstacle to forestry progress. It is impossible to assess the supply and demand situation in the world without adequate international statistics. Existing knowledge with regard to wood consumption is very incomplete. A plan is necessary to exploit the world's forests as perpetual sources of supply with a minimum of waste, with proper distribution, and with more complete utilization.

The rehabilitation of the world's forests is a huge task, worthy of a huge effort. It will take time; it will call for teamwork on an international scale. Only through the cooperation of FAO member governments in supplying necessary information and enacting legislation can the Division of Forestry and Forest Products hope to assist them in protecting and managing their forests and in bringing higher living standards to the peoples of the world.


1. World Food Board

The output of forest products based on the permanent growing capacity of now accessible forests is insufficient to meet world demand. There also exists the danger of possible future surpluses.] This creates a situation essentially similar to the position in regard to food. It is therefore necessary and urgent that forest products be actively considered by the Preparatory Commission on World Food Proposals as commodities requiring positive action.

To ensure that world wood requirements receive adequate attention, it is recommended:

That countries nominating members to the Preparatory Commission should give consideration to proper representation for forest products.

2. World Wood Program

In view of the urgency of the problems involved, and in order to prepare the necessary information for the work of the Preparatory Commission on World Food Proposals it is recommended:

That FAO's Forestry Division take all necessary steps without delay for the establishment of lumber and forest products balances with regard to Europe, North America, Asia, and the Southern Hemisphere for several years ahead. These regional balances should then be coordinated and circulated among FAO member governments in order to permit discussion of a world forestry program based on these balances either at FAO's next annual conference or by the appropriate agencies concerned with the preparation or the functioning of the proposed world food board or any agency with the same objectives.

3. European Problem

In view of the gravity of the reconstruction problem in devastated countries of Europe, it is recommended:

That the appropriate international authority call an urgent conference of European governments to consider immediate action to provide devastated countries with the help they need in order to overcome the present difficulties with regard to lumber supplies, especially as far as these supplies are essential for reconstruction work.

4. National Committees a-tad Regional Offices .

In order to enable FAO's forestry organization to function effectively, it is considered indispensable:

(1) That there be created as quickly as possible within the framework of the National FAO Committee for each country a subcommittee for forestry and forest products with a secretary permanently assigned to it; and

(2) That the Forestry Division of FAO organize one central and three regional offices as soon as funds and personnel can be made available. [See Report of Commission B.] The central office would at the same time serve a fourth region. The regions envisaged are (a) North America; (b) Europe, including Russia and the whole Mediterranean basin; (c) Latin America and Africa, with the exception of the Mediterranean basin; and (d) Asia, with Oceania. The possible creation of a fifth office for the Pacific area may be considered at a later stage.

The early development of the European center is considered by the Committee to be especially urgent. As far as possible, these offices should be at the same places as those which FAO may decide to maintain for its other work. 'Pending their actual installation, it is desirable that a special officer of the Forestry Division be 'assigned to each of these four regions.

5. Mission to Latin America

One of the first measures to alleviate the present wood shortage is the development of unexplored forest resources in Latin America, especially of the great reserves of Paraná pine. As soon as the consent of the interested governments can be obtained, a mission should be organized to investigate these resources and advise on their development. This mission should leave, if possible, before the end of this year and visit the most important forest regions of Latin America. It should endeavor to arouse the interest of Latin people in the orderly development of their enormous forest wealth.


1. Preparation of a Census of the World's Forests and Establishment of Periodical Balance Sheets

All countries should be requested to supply to FAO as soon as possible their most recent statistics on forest resources, annual growth, annual drain, and forest products. These states meets should include information respecting the percentage of agricultural and forest lands in each country. In conformity with the practice already adopted by FAO in dealing with questions relating to forestry and forest products, the forest census should be compiled on a regional basis.

Complete yearly publications on forest products should be supplemented for certain selected subjects and countries by quarterly and monthly bulletins. The first yearly publication, to be issued in 1947, should cover the period 1937-46.

2. Measures to be Taken to Determine and In crease the Number of Professional Foresters

The response to questionnaires respecting numbers of trained foresters, their qualifications, and the educational facilities available has been meager and unsatisfactory, but the information obtained indicates that there is at present a most .serious shortage of foresters.

It is recommended:

That each country furnish FAO complete information as to the number of active foresters and the training facilities for foresters which they possess, specifying whether such facilities are restricted to their own nationals or are open to students from lands not possessing such facilities. Countries should also be asked to state conditions under which professional foresters from other countries can be employed. These data should be summarized and studied by the subcommittee on education of the Standing Advisory Committee on Forestry, which should formulate necessary recommendations.

3. Study of Forest Policies and Organization in Different Countries

The Quebec Conference adopted a resolution urging that "FAO should collect, compile, and disseminate information as to forest policies of member nations and furnish advice and guidance as to forest management measures which properly may be required on public and privately owned forest land."

This recommendation is strongly endorsed, and it is suggested that the proposed study of policies should be extended to cover the form of organization adopted in each country to carry out its policy. It is urged that this important work should be pressed forward with all possible speed.

It is particularly important to establish, so far as possible, the most desirable balance between agricultural and forest areas.

4. Necessary Legislation to Ensure Proper Conservation of the Forests in Use

As a first step in the study of forest legislation, FAO should request each member government to supply digests of its forest laws and regulations. This information should be disseminated among governments and should be carefully analyzed by FAO in order that recommendations for improvements may be submitted to governments in eases where these appear to be necessary. In principle, FAO should urge legislation subjecting all forests in use to compulsory management on a sustained-yield basis.

5. Reforestation

A resolution adopted at Quebec reads as follows: "FAO should immediately begin to assemble world-wide information on methods, costs, suitable species and seed sources, and other data needed by governments desiring to afforest desert and other bare lands."

This recommendation is endorsed, and it is recommended:

(1) That FAO should initiate action intended to stir up world-wide interest in this very important problem and that the Director-General be asked to provide sufficient funds to permit the undertaking of adequate propaganda for this purpose.

Special attention should be given to the reforestation of countries where devastation of former forests has been followed by a lowering of living standards. These include the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, and China.

It is recommended:

(2) That plans should be made for a mission to study this question soon after the next annual conference.

6. Seed and Plant Certification

The Quebec Conference recommended that " FAO should take the necessary steps to be ready to establish at its nest Conference Session international standards for the certification of tree seeds and planting stock." So far it has not been possible to assemble the necessary information, but it is now recommended:

That the Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division should be requested to assemble from governments all laws and regulations governing the certification of sources of seed and planting stock, including regulations concerning the prevention of transmission of harmful insects and diseases, together with reports on results obtained. This information should be compiled and circulated to member governments well in advance of the next annual conference of FAO.

7. Forestry Equipment

Endorsement is given to the Quebec resolution that: "FAO should study world needs for forestry equipment, give advice on the most suitable technical equipment, and assist countries through proper channels to acquire what they need." The term "forestry equipment" should be interpreted as including all tools and equipment used in management, logging, and transportation of primary forest products and in the protection of forests against fire, injurious insects, and tree diseases. In view of the dependence of modern forest practice on automotive equipment, member governments should be asked to grant special priority to the supply of such equipment, including tires, for forestry purposes. It should not be overlooked that by the application of modern logging methods and equipment much additional timber can be obtained from stands that have, under old methods, been considered commercially inaccessible. Special consideration should also be given to the replacement of forest research instruments and equipment destroyed during the war.

8. Pulp and Paper

The world's pulpwood reserves, if skillfully used, may meet the world's needs, especially if advances in pulping technique permit the use of hardwoods, sawmill waste, and other raw materials formerly rejected. These developments may facilitate the establishment of pulp industries in continents such as Africa and South America, which import practically all their pulp and paper despite the existence of large local resources.

It is recommended:

(1) That systematic studies of pulp consumption levels should be undertaken for all parts of the world, with special emphasis on their relation to living conditions.

(2) That FAO should undertake an appraisal of annual wood supplies available for pulp production in various countries and regions, in order to facilitate the adoption of long-range investment and production programs for the world's pulp and paper industries.

9. Wood Chemistry

Scientific advances in wood chemistry and the establishment of specialized institutions for wood-chemical research create an increased need for coordination through an international organization devoted to forestry and forest products. These coordinating services should be facilitated by specialists on the FAO staff. Some of the steps most urgently needed are:

(1) To list the names of institutions and individuals working in the various fields of wood research, and to record the research projects in which each is engaged.

(2) To facilitate the early publication of research results, both intermediate and final, and to reduce the undesirable time lag between the discovery and the general availability of new knowledge.

(3) To organize working meetings of specialists in the laboratories and institutes where research projects in their special fields are being carried out.

(4) To assist young scientists in getting acquainted with research organizations and methods outside their own countries. There is a special opportunity for this at present owing to the reduction in numbers of young scientists as a result of the war. Many of the new laboratories need more technical workers they can find at home and would welcome the services of young technicians from other countries.

(5) To determine from year to year which research problems deserve priority consideration. As a first step in that direction the Committee suggests the following five problems:

(a) The manufacture of structural materials from defibrated wood.

(b) Improvement of standard pulping methods and the purification of pulp for advanced chemical uses.

(c) Utilization of short-fiber woods for paper and chemical pulp.

(d) Chemical uses of tropical woods.

(e) Utilization of waste liquors and of lignin.

10. Mechanical Wood Technology

Because of the seriousness of the housing crisis and the present world lumber shortage, the Committee recommends that priority consideration be given by appropriate institutions to the following projects:

(1) Standardization of rules for the grading of lumber and for the technological classification of wood by uses.

(2) Completion of standardized strength tests on timber.

(3) Preparation of guides for architects and builders, development of improved met hods of construction and the use of connectors.

(4) Methods for improving the properties of wood by treatment with synthetic resins, preservatives, and other chemicals.

11. Missions

Technical forestry missions organized by FAO should include at least one representative of the forestry staff, together with outside experts having special knowledge in the field to be studied. Such missions will in all cases be interested in the management and conservation of the forests as well as in their exploitation. In view of the wording of Article I of the Constitution of FAO, it is expected that member governments will welcome such missions.

When agricultural missions are sent out by FAO it should always be determined whether problems of forestry or land utilization are involved, and if they are, a forester should be included.

12. Statistical Series

FAO should immediately begin the collection of periodical statistics on forest products. It would be especially desirable to appraise annually the wood supplies in different countries available for the production of lumber and other wood products, and to prepare material for use in forming long range investment and production policies for lumber and other woodworking industries in different countries.

13. Statistical Conference

Since agricultural statistical conferences do not meet the purpose fully, FAO should organize as soon as possible an international statistical conference for forestry to agree on definitions and units of measurement. For the benefit of English-speaking countries, publications should contain additional tables expressed in units of measurement in common use.

The Committee feels that because of delays FAO cannot depend for its primary data on the publication of printed results in various countries, but must base its work on information supplied on standard question forms completed by each country.

To assure that these reports will be forthcoming from all government and private sources as required is an additional reason for the creation of the subcommittees on forestry and forest products within the National FAO Committees .Their permanent secretaries should be charged with the collection of the necessary data unless other more satisfactory arrangements are made. The establishment of regional offices will greatly facilitate the adjustment of local conditions of FAO's statistical programs and procedures.

14. Wood Consumption and Living Standards

Existing knowledge with regard to wood consumption is very inaccurate and incomplete, especially regarding per caput consumption for such major elements in living standards as housing, transportation, sanitation, clothing, education, and heat. Studies along these lines have already been recommended by the Quebec Conference and this Committee reiterates the recommendation that FAO should investigate for various countries and regions the relationship between wood consumption, income, and living standards.

Such studies, by determining consumption trends, should provide a useful guide in assessing prospective wood needs for major uses and in adopting a long-range forest policy for the world.

15. Library and Files of Centre International de Sylviculture

This Committee considers that the library of CIS should be kept intact and transferred as soon as possible to the European headquarters of the Forestry Division of FAO.

16. Liquidation of Comité International du Bois

Despite the complexity of the legal position of CIB, this Committee recommends:

That FAO should assist in the liquidation of CIB by assuming its debts and by granting to the staff treatment in no way less generous than that accorded to the staff of CIS. [See Report of Commission B.]

17. Union of Forest Research Stations

The Standing Advisory Committee and its Subcommittee on Forest Research should be asked to examine the work being done by the Union of Forest Research Stations, and to make recommendations as to any action that might be taken to link or amalgamate it with FAO.

18. Subcommittees of Standing Advisory Committee

This Committee welcomes the formation of subcommittees of the Standing Advisory Committee to deal with specific problems.

19. Third World Forestry Congress

The Committee recommends:

That FAO sponsor the Third World Forestry Congress, to be held in Europe in 1948. The Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division should proceed with the necessary preparations.

20. Relations with Timber Subcommittee of EECE

This Committee recognizes the desirability of close cooperation between the Forestry and Forest Products Division of FAO and the Timber Subcommittee of the Emergency Economic Committee for Europe, and recommends to the Conference:

(1) That the offer of the EECE to establish cooperation between its Timber Subcommittee and the Forestry and Forest Products Division of FAO be accepted.

(2) The Director of the Forestry and Forest Products Division should arrange the details of such cooperation with the Secretary-General of EECE.

21. Approval of Report

Subject to minor changes necessary to bring recommendations in the report into agreement with preceding recommendations, this Committee approves and endorses the report Forestry and Forest Products-World Situation, 1937-46, presented to this Conference. Changes in factual material submitted by delegates should be incorporated in the report.

D. Fisheries

THE GRADUAL transition of a world organized for war toward one organized for peace and the part which FAO is playing in that movement make necessary a continued review of the fisheries problem.

Certain wartime institutions have disappeared and others are about to be dissolved. Still others have changed in nature. Certain types of controls have been relaxed and nations are working out new agreements. All these have a bearing on the approach of FAO to fisheries since it is necessary to take them into account in order to assess the relative urgency of the many fields of action open to the newly formed Fisheries Division. of the Organization.

The Committee on Fisheries has endeavored, in the short time at its disposal, to weigh these considerations, and makes the following recommendations and proposals.


1. Director-General's First Report to the FAO Conference

This report was received with approval.

2. Place of Fisheries in World Food Board

The Committee has considered the part which fisheries should play in the proposals for a world food board.

The Director-General's proposals refer throughout to agriculture and, in fact, fish and fish products are not specifically mentioned. Nevertheless it is stated that certain livestock products capable of being stored for long periods might be included directly in the operations.

The Fisheries Committee, in its report to the First Session of the FAO Conference, stressed the fact that a practical solution to the fundamental problem of the irregularity of certain kinds of fish supply may be the application of the buffer-stock principle to products such as salted and canned fish, fish oils, fish meal, and vitamin oils, and the application of new methods of fish preservation to other fish products.

Consequently, the Committee attaches the greatest importance to the inclusion of fish and other marine products within the ambit of operations of any world food board or other organization with the same objective. This should not be left to be vaguely assumed. Such products should be specifically mentioned.

The Committee accordingly recommends:

That fish and marine products should be definitely brought within the ambit of the proposed world food board, always bearing in mind that the board may have to exercise functions in addition to those suggested in the document entitled Proposals for a World Food Board.

3. Report of FAO Standing Advisory Committee on Fisheries

The Committee has studied with interest the Report of the Standing Advisory Committee on Fisheries,' which contains recommendations on a considerable number of subjects. This was based in part on the recommendations made to the Director-General by the Ad Hoc Committee on Fisheries, 6-9 March 1946. The latter report in turn includes a number of recommendations approved at the Quebec Conference as to the part that might be played by FAO in connection with Fisheries. These are dealt with in subsequent paragraphs.

4. Surpluses, Underdeveloped Areas, and Other Problems

The first of the matters stressed in the Report of the Standing Advisory Committee on Fisheries is the problem of surpluses. It should be emphasized that surpluses can also lead to the limitation of fishing and to the wholesale destruction of valuable fish catches because they are incapable of being distributed to those who need them. Surpluses also occur in certain countries in the case of fresh-water fish.

But the problem of surpluses, while acute in certain northwest European countries, is by no means universal. Other problems await the attention of FAO. In many countries there are large potential fish stocks, which are at present not available to the consumer. Here the problem is one of development of the fishing industry involving such questions as boat building, selection and provision of suitable gear and training in its use, preservation and refrigeration, landing, marketing and distribution, processing, and finally scientific research.

Apart from this there is the question, which already arises in many countries and is bound to arise in others, of developing necessary facilities for the manufacture of fish meal and oils, and for the processing of fish that cannot conveniently be distributed in a fresh condition to the consumer.

Furthermore, while it is clearly visualized by the Standing Advisory Committee that FAO should play its part in solving the problem of the overfishing, which in relation to the North Sea and other areas adjacent to the British Isles has already formed the subject of an International Conference in London in April 1946, there is the question of regulation of production quite apart from its application to the problems of overfishing.

Lastly, there is the problem of fish prices. It has been necessary in certain countries to fix prices both for home consumption and for export. It might well be necessary for the purpose of an economic fishing industry for this practice to be continued.

In the solution of all these problems, the Committee considers it essential that FAO should play its part, but it must provide itself in the first instance with all the necessary information on the subject.

5. Recommendations of Special Meeting on Urgent Food Problems

The Committee supports the recommendations respecting fisheries in the Report of the Special Meeting on Urgent Food Problems, as follows:

" (a) that the Emergency Economic Committee for Europe (EECE) be asked to continue its work concerning fisheries throughout 1946-47; and

" (b) that FAO be asked to undertake a study of the longer term fisheries problems, including impediments to international trade in fish and fish products, the dangers of overfishing, and the possibilities of overinvestment in fishing fleets and fish-producing facilities."

The long-term studies mentioned in (b) will involve an examination of international policies regarding trade arrangements, credits, and the effect of tariffs and of monetary exchange rates. They will include an exploration of the possibilities for improvement of processing, marketing, distribution, and fisheries production. They will also involve biological studies of optimum production for maximum sustained yield. Thus in addition to the immediate field of work of FAO, it will be necessary for the Organization to place at the disposal of other special branches of the United Nations-such as the Economic and Social Council and other agencies, as well as the proposed International Trade Organization-such data as will be required to gain their assistance in forwarding the aims of FAO. This will make it possible for the various organs of the United Nations to work toward a common end with the minimum of duplication. The Committee advises that fisheries research as such in all its phases be kept within the ambit of FAO.

6. Organization of Fisheries Division

The Committee also takes note of the Standing Advisory Committee's recommendations regarding the organization of the Fisheries Division of FAO. The Committee desires to support the proposal to divide the Division into three main branches, Economic, Biological, and Technological, and attaches importance to every effort being made by the Division immediately to secure the right men to take charge of these three branches. The Committee also considers that the necessity has already arisen for the addition of an Assistant Director to the staff of the Division. The Committee supports the proposed allocation of duties as between these branches, which will no doubt be able to absorb the further responsibilities outlined earlier in this report.

It is evident that all three of these branches will be included in the work leading to a solution or partial solution of the problem of securing adequate production and proper distribution of surpluses without making it dependent upon a restriction in production. It agrees with the Ad Hoc Committee, which deemed this as being the most immediately urgent fisheries problem.

It is proposed with respect to the Economics Branch of the Fisheries Division that its work be concerned with the particular economic efficiencies relating to the structure of fisheries- for example, the relation or interchangeability of one kind of fisheries product with another, the effect of availability of skills and of raw material entering into manufacture, and like problems. In effect, while the Economics Division of FAO itself is concerned with policies dealing with food as a whole, the Economics Branch of the Fisheries Division will be concerned with those aspects pertaining specifically to fisheries.

It is realized that the Economics Branch of the Fisheries Division cannot operate successfully apart from the Technological Branch since closely related to any marketing and consumption problem is the problem of the technology of production, preservation, transportation, and storage. This is particularly true in certain parts of the world where lack of equipment and of physical facilities is often the limiting factor to production, distribution, and consumption. It is also true that the perishability of a food product conditions the type of commodity agreement possible. For instance, the device of buffer stocks could be successfully employed only if significant deterioration could be prevented over a fairly long period of time.

It is recommended that the function of the Technological Branch be to make known existing methods of production, manufacture, and preservation, and, if necessary, to stimulate research on new methods or other devices of handling which make feasible the introduction of whatever economic plans were determined to be applicable. The Technological Branch should play a major role in collecting and disseminating information with respect to by-products and pharmaceutical products from marine resources and should be prepared to make available technical advice to certain governments where the lack of proper methods of handling is a limitation to consumption of food which may be at hand.

The problems of "surpluses" and shortages are related to those of conservation and the development of fisheries resources. These latter are the concern of the Biological Branch, since unrestricted fishing results in an irregular supply, and the depletion of certain fishing regions causes a migration of fishing effort to regions more remote from markets, thus intensifying competition, elevating costs, damaging quality, and, in addition, creating international disturbances and animosities. On the other hand, the development of hitherto unused fisheries resources may not only greatly contribute to a more satisfactory diet for undernourished people, but also create additional demands and increase the amount of food available.

7. Relationship to International Governmental and Public Bodies

Concerning the relationship to other international governmental or public bodies, the Committee believes that the closest contact should be established between FAO and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), but it is considered that the precise form of collaboration can best be settled by the Director (who attended the thirty-fourth meeting of ICES at Stockholm in August 1946) after discussion with the Secretary-General of the Council. In these discussions the Committee considers that the question of the collection of fisheries statistics should play a primary part.

The Committee notes that other international organizations similar to ICES are proposed and that, as a beginning, three in particular are suggested in the following areas: the Mediterranean (where a Council existed before World War II), North America, and the Southwestern Pacific. The Committee considers that, in addition, a fourth organization should be constituted for the Southern Africa group of countries (including Madagascar), lying, say, south of the Equator. The Committee realizes, however, that this objective may be achieved only in a series of gradual stages, and it may well be that some of the areas proposed may prove too large to be served by a single organization.

The question of the relationship of FAO with nongovernmental bodies, such as international associations of the trade, will no doubt emerge in the near future, and the Committee is aware of the existence of a number of international organizations not dealing primarily with fisheries AS such, with which the Fisheries Division of FAO might find it useful to cooperate. The Committee wishes to emphasize the desirability of FAO's maintaining close contact with such international organizations as the Institute of Food Technologists and the Comité International de la Conserve, including full exchange of information as to plans, achievements, and progress.

8. Emergency Economic Committee for Europe

With regard to the future work of the Emergency Economic Committee for Europe, the Committee has noted the efforts of the EECE to bring about increased production and consumption of fisheries products in European countries. In spite of the difficulties which EECE has encountered, the Committee believes that fish supplies can and should be used in greater quantities to meet, in part, the critical food shortages which are likely to prevail in certain areas of Europe during the next twelve months.

In order to promote this objective, until such time as an FAO European regional office is established, it is recommended:

That the EECE continue to keep the fish supply situation under review and to use its good offices in bringing supplying countries and consuming countries together on matters of mutual interest.

Financial difficulties (i.e., budgetary, price, and exchange problems) appear to constitute the greatest single obstacle to expanded consumption of fish in European countries. The Committee understands that these difficulties in the way of the movement of goods to satisfy urgent needs have been referred to the Assembly of the United Nations, and recommends:

That the important question of fish supplies should be considered in connection with the general inquiry into the difficulties of moving urgently needed goods in Europe.

The Committee believes that existing facilities for production of fishery products can meet a considerable increase in demand. As a first step toward a more adequate utilization of fish supplies, it is recommended:

That FAO call upon European countries desiring to import fish products or expand their present imports to indicate their potential requirements for the next year to the EECE as soon as possible.

It is recommended:

That a representative of the Fisheries Division of FAO be nominated as adviser to the Working Party of the EECE on Fish Supplies.

9. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

The Committee has considered the UNRRA Resolution presented to the Conference by the Director-General of UNRRA [see Appendix], and has consulted the Chief of the Agricultural Rehabilitation Division of UNRRA on the projects undertaken by this organization for development of fisheries. It has also been in contact with members of Committee I (Agriculture) of Commission A, and of Committee II (1946-47 Food Situation) of Commission C, with a view to ensuring that this proposal is in line with the position taken by these Committees.

The Committee feels that the accomplishments of UNRRA in supplying fishery products to the people of liberated countries have been so great that it is a matter of the utmost urgency to ensure that this work is continued as long as the present crisis exists.

The Committee emphasizes that fish is not only a valuable food and an important source of certain vitamins but is already available in such large quantities that surpluses occur even within short distances of populations in great need. Transportation and refrigeration problems offer obstacles, but it is the opinion of the Committee that these difficulties can be overcome in most cases. The perishability of fresh and frozen fish always offers a problem, but the Committee believes that this can be overcome by appropriate methods of handling, and that-especially in the winter months-it should offer no insurmountable problem in the northern countries. It seems then that only financial difficulties remain.

The Committee finally wishes to refer to the statement made by Mr. Herbert Hoover at the Special Meeting on Urgent Food Problems in Washington in May 1946, and feels that in accordance with this statement both the receiving populations and the supplying industries would benefit from an effort to direct deliveries gradually from relief organizations to usual trade channels.

The Committee accordingly considers that the question of continuing to supply fishery and marine products to liberated countries after the cessation of UNRRA's activities is a matter of great urgency and calls for action by the United Nations to ensure the continuance of such supplies as long as the present crisis exists.

The Committee is further conscious of the very valuable work accomplished by UNRRA in connection with the rehabilitation of fisheries in liberated countries and feels that much of this work falls within FAO's program of advising and actively helping countries in the development of their fisheries.

The Committee therefore recommends:

That FAO should endeavor to obtain a complete report of the work of UNRRA for the development of fisheries, and study the possibilities of ensuring completion of such projects as UNRRA has launched. FAO should also if possible take immediate steps to render help in the development of fisheries where it is most needed.

10. Statistics

In view of the need for more adequate statistics in relation to fisheries, the Committee is of the opinion that the coordination of such statistics should in future be the responsibility of the Fisheries Division of FAO, in collaboration with the Statistical Division.

11. Regional Offices

Since many of the problems of fisheries are regional and urgent, the Committee desires to emphasize the importance to fisheries of the early establishment of regional FAO offices with adequate fisheries staff, as provided in Article X of the FAO Constitution [See Report of Commission B.].


In the preceding paragraphs the Committee has endeavored to indicate at least some of the more urgent problems in which FAO could play a useful part. Surpluses and shortages (where they exist), prices of fish, the question of fresh fish as opposed to frozen fish, marketing and distribution, the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the fishing industries which have been devastated by war, including the building up of the fleets; and the development of fisheries in underdeveloped areas-these are all problems of the greatest urgency. FAO might seek to secure an interchange of information on these problems and the solutions proposed for them in different countries during the next year or so, since this information can point the way to the remedial measures required.

In conclusion the Committee would like to submit some general observations on the subject of fisheries. There can be no doubt whatever as to the vital importance of the fisheries of the world and of the high nutritive value of fish as a cheap food, but these matters tend to be overlooked. For example, in the World Food Survey made by FAO, mention is made of fish as a substitute for meat and emphasis is laid on the fact that there is a great shortage of animal protein and that seven to ten years may elapse before the herds in Europe attain their prewar numbers. Yet no figures are given for fish in that survey. This omission should be remedied since it leaves the impression that the importance of fish products as food is not yet fully appreciated.

The world's catch of fish prior to World War II was calculated at 17 million metric tons, producing about 7 million tons of edible fish flesh. According to the FAO World Food Survey, this was 25 percent of the combined consumption of meat, fish, and eggs in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China, India, Southeastern Europe, and South America. Moreover, a large portion of the fish catch has always been used for industrial and agricultural purposes by conversion to fish oil and meal.

It is clear that some countries are already moving toward a surplus position. Improvements are being constantly made in processing methods, and new products (e.g., artificially dried fish and fish flour) are being created, all of which may help to eliminate some of the world's shortage of animal protein.

The fishing grounds of the world are teeming with fish of all kinds. Fisheries are an international resource. In underdeveloped areas, especially, the harvest awaits the reaper.

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