Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission

Report of the First Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Future of APFIC - Virtual meeting, 18–19 August 2021 and Report of the Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Future of APFIC - Virtual meeting, 24–25 February 2022

Category Meeting Reports and texts, APFIC 37th Session

The Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) was established in 1948 and has undergone various reforms since then to adapt to the changing international governance of fisheries as well as reforms in the function and resourcing of FAO’s regional fishery bodies. This gradually induced a major crisis in the commission’s ability to develop and execute a work programme for servicing its members. The 36th Session of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission, held in May 2021, recognized the pressing issues of financial unsustainability and FAO's declining willingness and ability to provide Regular Programme funding for commission activities. It recommended the establishment of an 'ad hoc working group on the future of APFIC' to analyse issues and explore possible options to advise the commission on its future.

In a majority, the ad hoc working group recommended to support temporary suspension of the commission, in the light of questionnaire responses and the limited prospects for identifying financial resources for the activities of the commission. It prepared a draft resolution regarding suspension for consideration by the 37th session and recommended that suspension of the commission should be for a period five years. Noting that some Member Countries supported continuation, the ad hoc working group also prepared a draft resolution for continuation of the activities of the commission, should this be the decision of the 37th session. The text of this resolution incorporates specific reference to the establishment of a financial arrangement to support the work programme of the commission.