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3. The Expert Consultation was opened by Mr Ichiro Nomura, the Assistant Director General of Fisheries. In welcoming the participants Mr Nomura noted that subsidies to the fishing industry continue to be a concern in international meetings on fisheries and on the environment. Therefore it is understandable that FAO Members want to find out more about this controversial policy instrument. He went on to describe some of the work carried out during the last two years, providing some details about the background to the development of the draft Guide on identifying, assessing and reporting on subsidies in the fishing industry. He encouraged the experts to work hard to improve the Guide and to advise the Organization on how to expand the work to include also the evaluation of impacts on sustainability, trade and development. Mr Nomura’s Opening Statement is attached as Appendix D.

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