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Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Fisheries and Poverty Reduction

/* COM/2000/0724 final */
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Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Fisheries and Poverty Reduction /* COM/2000/0724 final */


1. Fisheries are part of the EU development policy...

2. Trade in fishery resources is global and significant...

3. The sustainability of global fishery resources is cause for international concern...

4. Guidelines for targeting EC interventions...

ANNEX 1 Contribution of fish to the consumption of proteins in the developing countries

ANNEX 2 Section 2.2 "Ensuring coherence and co-ordination" in The European Community's Development Policy (COM(2000)212 final.

ANNEX 3 Salient points concerning fisheries resources according to the FAO report on the state of fisheries and aquaculture, 1998

ANNEX 4 Internationally agreed principles on aquatic resource-based development

ANNEX 5 Development Policy Action


The Commission has analysed the importance of the fishery sector to developing country societies. The analysis provides valuable guidance for the future design of development programs. It also points to a need to develop sector programs in priority countries. Certain additional guidelines are needed for interventions in countries with whom the Community has signed a fishery agreement. This communication puts forward specific proposals for what the guidelines for targeting Community interventions should be.

There are also important implications for other Community policies, in particular the Common Fishery Policy. It is understood that the implications for the CFP will be taken up in a more operational manner in a separate section in the CFP Green Book (due early 2001) leading up to the 2002 CFP review. Through this communication, the Commission also wishes to draw the attention of the Council and the European Parliament to those aspects of CFP reform which directly relate to poverty reduction in developing countries.

1. Fisheries are part of the EU development policy...

Fish and fisheries are important to developing countries. Fish are reared, caught, sold, processed and consumed and in every step in the process there is economic and social value-added to be seized by the developing countries. A development policy approach to fisheries carries significant potential in fighting poverty. It matters therefore, from a development perspective, how developed and developing countries interact in this sector.

The importance of the fishery sector to developing country societies is well documented. More than 150 million poor people in the world depend on the fishery sector. The sector supports jobs in fishing, unloading, processing, distribution as well as the construction and maintenance of vessels. In many countries, catches are part of fundamental food security. In developing countries, an average 19% of animal protein intake is provided by fish. In a large number of poor countries, where this percentage exceeds 25%, the contribution to food security and health is crucial. [1] The United Nations Development Program reports that in the last 50 years sea catches have multiplied fourfold and that "more than a billion people living in 40 developing countries risk being deprived of their main source of protein because of the over-exploitation of fishery reserves associated with an increase in export demand for animal foods and oils, to the detriment of domestic consumption".

[1] See Annex 1.

Finally, whether traded or through fishery agreements, the fishery resources is an important source of foreign exchange to many developing countries.

The Community's development policy must address these issues head-on. Poverty reduction has been made the central objective of Community activities [2]. Five of the six priority activities selected to help work towards this objective (trade and development, regional cooperation, transport, food security and institutional capacity-building) are all directly relevant for the fishery sector. It is therefore both timely and necessary to set out the Community's policy in this regard.

[2] The European Community's Development Policy, COM(2000)212 final, 26. April 2000

... but the development policy needs support from other community policies

The Commission has clearly stated its intention to pursue improved coherence between development policy and other polices likely to affect developing countries. This obligation flows from article 3(2) TEU and art. 178 TEC. In its recent communication on development policy, the Commission committed itself to "make all necessary efforts to ensure that the principles of coherence is more and more applied in its own proposals. At the same time, conflicting requests should be avoided or resisted, or, when equally legitimate, the conflict should be brought to the fore and solved" [3]. The proposals below should be seen as a first contribution to deliver on that obligation.

[3] COM(2000)212 final, section 2.2.2., page 13. (See Annex 2)

... and complementarity with efforts of member states must be pursued

Article 180 of the Treaty establishing the European Community states that "the Community and the Member States shall co-ordinate their policies on development co-operation and shall consult each other on their aid programmes". The Member States' administrations and development agencies have a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of co-operation on fisheries and aquaculture.

Many projects have been carried out covering geographical zones or specific themes. This experience has led to individual Member States having particular expertise and interests: support for grassroots communities, evaluation of resources, fishery surveillance systems, integrated development of coastal areas, protection of coral reefs, bringing industries up to standard, legal and institutional assistance.... In view of the complexity of the co-operation areas and the relatively limited number of experts covering the different aspects, it is vital that there should be synergy between these projects and skills.

The Community's co-operation strategy will therefore include information about the Member States' activities and those of the other main donors. This information will serve as the basis for greater dovetailing with Member States' activities and those of other multilateral donors.

2. Trade in fishery resources is global and significant...

Between 50 and 60% of the value of world catches is produced in waters under jurisdiction of developing countries. In the waters of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries more than 50% of catches are made by foreign vessels. More than 40% of world production is marketed through international trade, making it the most international form of food production. As a result of this trade developing countries recorded a net commercial surplus of 16.6 billion dollars in 1996. Most exports relate to products having a high commercial value such as frozen shrimps and prawns, tuna and frozen fillets. These exports mainly go to developed countries, which purchase around 80% of the products sold on the international market. This international trade in fish is marked by strong growth rates.

... and the EU is at the same time a large net importer, consumer and producer

Europe holds a key position in this trade as a consumer, net importer and producer. From 1976 to 1996 imports to Europe increased nine-fold, helped by a significant increase in fish consumption. While EU exports approximately 1.6 million tons of fish products annually, the EU imports 4.3 million tonnes to cover its needs. Thus, 58% of European consumption is imported. In 1999, exports of fish from developing countries to the European Union amounted to approximately EUR 4 billion including 1.4 billion from Latin America, 1.4 billion from the ACP countries and 1.2 billion from Asia. It is estimated that in recent years, 63% of exports from ACP countries have gone to the European Union, 27% to Japan and 10% to the United States.

... using fishery agreements under the Common Fishery Policy to access resources

The Community had until recently fishery agreements with 26 countries, 17 of which are developing countries. The annual average cost (1998-2000) to the Community budget is EUR 270 million. This figure is significantly higher than what the Community (EDF and budget) commits on an annual basis to the fishery sector in all developing countries. Hence, the question of how the use of these funds is also furthering development objectives is of interest.

Fishery agreements are based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This implies that coastal states should limit the permissible catch volume for biological resources to its exclusive economic zone (article 61). Where national fleet capacity is below the permissible catch volume, third country fishing fleets are allowed to fish for the remainder in such zones (article 62). This approach assumes the availability of reliable scientific data on resources and fleet capacity.

The Convention, which was signed in 1982, hinges on the concept of "surplus stocks" not caught by the local sector. Accordingly, the first generation agreements provided "pay for fish" funding to developing country governments. However, these payments have not let to a development of a local fishing industry commensurate with the funds disbursed, and the access given in return to foreign vessels is by some local communities now considered a real threat to traditional local fishery. The Community recognises that reform of the CFP in this area is necessary for reaching the combined policy objectives of the Community, including those of the EU's development policy.

... while economically and socially supporting European fishing communities

At the outset, the fishing agreements had a primarily economic and social purpose which was considered essential for the fleets of the European Union. Approximately 2,800 Community ships are allowed to fish in third countries' waters under these agreements. Some 22,000 fishermen - backed up by upstream and downstream industries and trades - depend on these agreements; of these almost 6,000 are third country nationals of the coastal states.

3. The sustainability of global fishery resources is cause for international concern...

The sustainability of aquatic resources is a major cause for global concern. The risk of resource exhaustion is real. Developing countries are the repositories of most of the fishery resources of the planet, but these are limited and fragile vis-à-vis the risks connected with unregulated and illegal exploitation. In 1998, the FAO noted that total world fishery output has increased over the last 20 years to reach almost 120 million tonnes. [4] Now, the rate of increase in output is falling and the productivity of fisheries world-wide is in decline. There is a downward trend in world production of high quality sea-bottom fish (demersal fish) and an increase in the output of smaller pelagic fish of lower commercial value. The sea areas, which in principle offer some potential for increased catches, are the eastern and western Indian Ocean and the Northwest Pacific. However, most maritime resources are located on a narrow continental plateau which is subject to ecological pressures because of the massive increase in population in coastal areas. It should be noted that 50% of the world's human population live less than 60 km from a coast. This percentage is expected to increase to 70% by 2020. [5]

[4] See Annex 3.

[5] FAO, 1998, The state of world fisheries and aquaculture

The seriousness of the problem has been recognized at various international conferences, leading to an international consensus on principles to be applied. (See Annex 4).

... and so the European policy response must take a global approach to sustainability and poverty reduction

The European Union has addressed the sustainability issue in its own waters by agreeing to a Common Fishery Policy. With too many vessels in Europe and elsewhere, effective monitoring, control and surveillance is required to enforce the agreed regime for managing and exploiting the resource [6].

[6] As demonstrated at the recent International Conference on fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance, Brussels 24-27 october 2000.

Fish are a scarce and depletable resource to developing countries. Under the current circumstances the public authorities of most developing countries need assistance to guarantee sufficient sustainable access of their poor populations to aquatic resources. Also, more global governance is required and it must be accountable to the poor, who depend on the stock for their survival.

As one of the most important fishing powers in the world, the EU must set high standards and be prepared to adapt and improve targeted measures to strengthen research, evaluation of stocks, control, training, infrastructure, governance, sanitary installations, etc. The EU will pursue a responsible approach to governance in fishery at the global level.

The objective must be to protect the sustainability of resources with the same vigor in European as in non-European waters.

... while reflecting consumer concerns and trade interests

The European consumer interest in fish and fish products is real and significant. The availability of imports remains a concern. Consumer protection is another concern, which in presence of weak sanitary and veterinary standards may cause obstacles to trade in fish and fishery products. It requires a response in terms of development policy. Account must also be taken of internal European socio-economic considerations, although the cost of the fisheries agreement to the Community budget has to be balanced in view of the size of the local communities in Europe who benefit from the agreements.

In any case, the Community must establish a long-term policy based on considerations of sustainability and equity. Accordingly, the Community must mobilize all relevant policies at its disposal (development, fishery, trade, research, environment and consumer protection) to balance the following objectives:

* solidarity with developing countries whose populations are vitally dependent on fishery resources either for consumption or economic activity,

* commercial interest of continuing to import large quantity of fish from developing countries in order to meet the demand of consumers and of the food industry.

* economic and social interest in supporting certain traditional European fishing communities in continuing fishing activities in distant waters.

* environmental concern, considering seas and oceans as a "world resource" which is increasingly being regarded as the common heritage of humanity.

4. Guidelines for targeting EC interventions...

In pursuing these objectives and interests the Community should target its interventions in accordance with the following guidelines:

In countries where fisheries constitute a priority in the development strategy...

* A number of criteria will be elaborated, in collaboration with the competent regional and national bodies, to identify the countries or regions where fish and aquaculture should be a priority area in the EC's development co-operation. [7]

[7] These include the number and importance of communities depending on aquatic resources, contribution to food security, relative importance of aquatic resources, contribution of the fisheries sector to GDP and employment, importance of fish trade etc.

* The EU should support the formulation and implementation of sector policies and programmes in those countries or regions where fish and/or aquaculture represent a clear development priority. This should facilitate a deeper partnership, strengthen the policy dialogue with the country concerned and enhance donor co-ordination. Elements of such actions are annexed (Annex 5).

* Country Strategy Papers will highlight the respective roles of member states and other donors and will propose a lead donor in the formulation and implementation of the sector strategy.

* Regional interventions will be a priority for the EC, taking into account the frequently observed regional nature of fisheries problems and the Community's comparative advantage in this field.

In countries with whom the Community has signed fisheries agreements

In those developing countries, where European vessels gain access to fishing resources in the Exclusive Economic Zones through fisheries agreements, the development co-operation of the Community will support communities dependent on fisheries through a sector programme in full recognition of the contribution of fisheries to food security and the impact of fisheries activities on the development of the country.

The European Community will concentrate its efforts on reinforcing the necessary coherence between its development policy and the external aspects of its Common Fisheries Policy. To this end, the following points will be given emphasis in the Community's relations with the partner countries:

* The Community and the partner countries must ensure that Articles 61 and 62 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea are effectively applied.

* The principle of sustainable management of natural resources should be reinforced in applying the Convention. In particular, an increasing portion of the budget devoted to European fisheries agreements is targeted towards administrative capacity-building in monitoring, surveillance and control, conservation of biological resources and making the necessary reliable scientific data on resources and fleet capacity available.

* The principle of good, accountable and transparent management of public finances will be enhanced in fisheries agreements. In the interest of transparency, the Commission considers that financial contributions linked to fisheries agreements should be allocated directly to the national budget of the countries concerned. The targeted actions should then be debited and paid through a government account, respecting the established procedures of rights and mutual obligations. The Commission should promote that traditional fishing communities in developing countries are being consulted and given real influence on the use of funds.

* The Community will clearly identify and evaluate which interventions should be carried out as part of development co-operation and those undertaken as part of its Common Fisheries Policy. The resources allocated to each set of interventions would be clearly identified to avoid duplication. The choice of particular activities for a given country or region should be dependent on an ex-ante evaluation. The Community will check that its interventions are internally coherent and consistent with the overall objective of poverty reduction. This implies giving serious consideration to support the development of local fishery industry, including processing and distribution networks for local consumption.

* The Commission will encourage the participation of civil society and Southern-based professional fisheries organisations in the preparation and implementation of fisheries agreements.

ANNEX 1 Contribution of fish to the consumption of proteins [8] in the developing countries

[8] The countries listed are the following: countries targeted by the European food security policy, developing countries with a fish/inhabitant ratio of more than 20kg and/or developing countries where the proportion of fish protein is more than 20% of total animal protein.


ANNEX 2 Section 2.2 "Ensuring coherence and co-ordination" in The European Community's Development Policy (COM(2000)212 final.

2.2. Ensuring coherence and co-ordination

Art. 3(2) TEU demand that the consistency of the Union's external activities be ensured. Art. 178 TEC [9] furthermore requests that the Community take account of its objectives in the area of development cooperation when it implements other policies that are likely to affect developing countries. A Development Council Resolution of May 1997 has asked the Commission to come up with proposals to improve coherence, including practical procedures and regular reporting.

[9] Respectively Treaty on the European Union and Treaty establishing the European Community

2.2.1. Coherence of external policies

Coherence has several dimensions. One is the general coherence of our external policies. The gradual and harmonious integration of developing countries in the world economy (Art.177.1) needs, on the one hand, a dramatic improvement of these countries' internal policies, and, on the other hand, a stronger and more coherent international support to these policies. The EU is the first donor and the first trading partner of the developing countries. Its international weight has increased with the introduction of the euro. It has a growing role in international negotiations on environment and consumer protection. As such, it has to maximise its capacity to act within the various pillars of the international economic system, with a view to ensure coherence between trade liberalisation (WTO), assistance and financial co-operation (Bretton Woods Institutions) and normalisation aiming at sustainable development (Environment, ILO, Codex Alimentarius, etc.). The Commission will soon put forward an action plan to use its external policies to improve the coherence and the international economic governance, to further promote the gradual and harmonious integration of developing countries into the World economy.

2.2.2. Avoiding unintended incoherence

Art.178 of the Treaty and common sense oblige the EU to check that the objectives of its development policy are taken into account when the implementation of other policies are likely to affect developing countries. This coherence-check is relevant for many areas of Community policy including, e.g. trade, agriculture, environment, energy, research and technological development, fisheries, immigration, asylum, conflict prevention, health, competition, consumer protection and humanitarian aid. Development objectives should also be reflected in the overall policy guidelines in areas such as investment, debt management, transport and telecommunication networks, education and training.

When implementing these other policies, the EU can indeed affect, positively or adversely, developing countries. The least that can be expected is that those who make the decisions have full knowledge of these indirect effects of policies. Thorough analysis and quantification of these effects will be promoted.

It is still possible that the EU makes the political choice to go ahead with a policy despite its potentially negative, indirect and unintended impact on developing countries. In these cases, it is important to ensure that this decision is made in full knowledge of its indirect consequences. When various options are available, such policies will have to be implemented in the least damaging way to developing countries. If necessary and possible, measures or programmes may be devised to put developing countries in a position to offset or resist the negative, unavoidable effects of EU other policies.

This pursuit of improved coherence is the responsibility of all institutions, the Parliament, the Commission and the Council to begin with. For its part, the Commission will make all necessary efforts to ensure that the principle of coherence is more and more applied in its own proposals. At the same time, conflicting requests should be avoided or resisted, or, when equally legitimate, the conflict should be brought to the fore and solved. Incoherent decisions and orientations will be highlighted. The co-ordinating mechanisms of each institutions have used to the fullest possible extend.

2.2.3. Co-ordination and complementarity

It is for the EC to promote coordination and ensure complementarity between the Community and Member States in the broader international framework. One of the most critical aspects of coordination within the EU is to enhance the ability of the EU to present common positions in international bodies, thus realising the potential for increased European influence. This coordination effort has also to be enhanced at the level of the country strategies, sectoral policy guidelines, and at operational level in the partner countries. This is important for developing countries, which have only limited manpower resources and have to deal with many donors.

Building on past experience of coordination, the European Union has to move ahead and to establish a division of labour to achieve commonly established goals. Progress in defining European policy guidelines, integrating Member States' policies, is essential, while pursuing coordination in the various existing fora. There is definitely a need not to confine the Community to being a sixteenth implementing actor in the area of development cooperation, but to consider it as a promoter and facilitator in the search of new forms of European governance.

ANNEX 3 Salient points concerning fisheries resources according to the FAO report on the state of fisheries and aquaculture, 1998

Some 44% of fish stocks would appear to have been fully exploited and reached their maximum output, or almost, without any margin for increase, 16% are overexploited (with a danger of interruption in production cycles if reduction measures are not taken), and 6% of stocks are exhausted. The proportion of stock being slowly replenished is 3%. It is therefore impossible to increase catches in the case of 70% of the world's fish stocks. The areas concerned are the Atlantic, Pacific, Eastern Central and Pacific, Northeast, Black Sea and Mediterranean.

World production of high-value, demersal fish is tending to decline and production of small pelagic fish with a lower commercial value is increasing,

The maritime areas which should offer some potential for increased catches are the Indian Ocean, Eastern and Western, and the Pacific, Northwest (the temperate and tropical zones of the Pacific have considerable tuna resources). Most of the maritime resource is on a narrow continental shelf which is subject to ecological pressures owing to a large-scale population increase in the coastal areas (50% of the world's population lives at least 60 km from a coast, and the proportion will be 70% in 2020),

The quantity of fish of low commercial value which is discarded would appear to represent 25% of known annual capture fisheries. In addition to this waste of biomass is the loss of an indeterminate, but presumably large, number of mammals, birds and marine reptiles caught accidentally.

ANNEX 4 Internationally agreed principles on aquatic resource-based development

Several major directing principles, which guide action in development co-operation in the area of aquatic resource-based development, have been emphasised in a number of international declarations. With the acceptance of these principles, an international consensus has been built up on their application. The European Community has agreed on many occasions that it will apply these principles. Nine of these principles are presented below in the chronological order of the fora in which they were adopted:

Montego Bay, 1982

The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea led to the signature of a Convention. This UN Convention entered into force on 16 November 1994. Its purpose is to favour the peaceful use of seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient use of their resources, the conservation of their biological resources and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment.

* Principle 1

Coastal states must favour an optimal use of biological resources in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). In doing so, they most pursue the preservation and re-generation of exploited species stocks to levels securing the maximum constant yield. They must take into consideration ecological factors and the economic needs of coastal populations living from fishery as well as the specific needs of developing states.

* Principle 2

Coastal states determine their capacity of exploiting biological resources. If this capacity is less than the total admissible catch volume, they authorise other states, through agreements or other arrangements, to exploit the surplus of admissible catch volume.

Rio de Janeiro, June 1992

At the Rio Summit on Environment and Development, a Declaration and an action Agenda (Agenda 21) were adopted which include several recommendations and principles for application in the management of fishery resources.

* Principle 3

Environmental concerns must be integrated in all development processes: "In order to achieve sustainable development, protection of the environment must constitute an integral part of the process of development and cannot be regarded in isolation".

* Principle 4

The principle of precaution must be applied: "In order to protect the environment, precautionary measures must be widely applied by States in accordance with their ability to do so. Where there is a risk of serious or irreversible damage, the lack of absolute scientific certainty must not serve as a pretext for delaying the adoption of effective measures to prevent deterioration of the environment".

* Principle 5

Local communities must be made responsible: "Local populations and communities and other local authorities have a vital role to play in the management and development of the environment because of their knowledge of it and their traditional practices".

Rome, October 1995

During the 28th FAO Conference the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries [10] was approved by consensus. This optional code was prepared by the FAO as a result of the impetus provided by the Rio Summit to the consideration of sustainable development. It is designed to apply the principles of sustainable management to the resource. It adopts and defines the precautionary principle applied to the development of fishing. The following principles, which reinforce or supplement those already listed, should be noted:

[10] The Code of conduct has been signed by the European Community and almost all developing countries with which it has signed fisheries agreements

* Principle 6

The right to fish implies an obligation to do so in a responsible manner, the fishing effort must be proportional to the production capacity of the fishery resources.

* Principle 7

States must co-operate at sub-regional, regional and world levels to promote the conservation and management of resources. "Increased pressure on fish and a better knowledge of stocks will make the joint management of common stocks a priority".

* Principle 8

The importance of the contribution of small scale fishing to employment and security of food supplies must be recognised, the rights of fishermen and workers in the fishing industry must be protected". Priority must be given to the nutritional needs of local communities. "Given recent trends, the management of fishing will progressively include the direct involvement of those involved in the fisheries business, the allocation of "user rights", decentralisation of allocation functions without the government abandoning its role of administrator, and self-financing of the sector".

Kyoto, December 1995

At the Kyoto International Conference on the sustainable contribution of fishing to food security 95 states and the European Community affirmed their awareness of the "fact that if appropriate measures are not taken very rapidly the joint effect of demographic growth and economic growth on a world scale together with that of continuing over-fishing, overexploitation and deterioration of the aquatic environment will impose enormous constraints on the fisheries sector as regards its capacity to persistently maintain its essential contribution to the security of food supplies".

* Principle 9

International trade in fish must not have an adverse effect on the environment and on food security for local populations: It is necessary to "ensure that trade in fish and fishery products increases the reliability of food supplies, and does not lead to deterioration of the environment or have an adverse effect on the nutritional rights and needs of populations for whom fish and fishing products are crucial for their health and well-being..."


Persistent and growing pressure on resources and the difficulties encountered by LDCs in pursuing sector policies which address the real needs of their populations has resulted in a wide divergence between the principles outlined above and the experience on the ground.

ANNEX 5 Development Policy Action

1.1. Strengthening the participation of civil society

* Support the creation and development of professional organisations emanating from economic actors involved in fisheries. Assistance for the organisation of local communities dependent upon fisheries. Support to local authorities in order to enable them to become actively involved in the sustainable development of coastal areas.

* Support the creation and stimulation of networks and structures to facilitate exchange of experience and knowledge between communities dependent on fishing activities. Assistance for activities developed by these organisations, including assistance for productive investment.

* Support the participation of women in the organisations, particularly those involved in the processing and marketing of fishery products.

* Support the development and the establishment of financial instruments and services appropriate to the needs of the sector, in particular small-scale fishermen and women involved in the business.

1.2. Improving governance in sustainable management of resources focused toward poverty reduction

* Support the implementation of the objectives and principles of the FAO's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Increase the knowledge of the status of the resource and the safeguarding of the aquatic ecosystems. Improve management of access rights, arbitration between methods of fishing and possible reduction of fishing pressure. Improve capture selectivity and/or apply temporary or space limitation of activities. Establish integrated management of the coastal areas.

* Support good governance related to the establishment of appropriate legal and institutional frameworks. Support mechanisms to ensure participative planning and evaluations.

Supporting the implementation of national fisheries sector programmes

Scientific knowledge

* Improve scientific knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and fishery resources, drawing, in particular, from an enhanced scientific co-operation between research institutions in the EU and the developing countries. Support the dissemination of this knowledge and training.

* Improve the knowledge in any field directly connected with the living conditions of communities depending on the aquatic resource

* Support the pursuit of environmental and social studies prior to interventions with a potential social or environmental impact.

Management of fishing activities

* Organize and implement systems for the follow-up, monitoring and supervision of fishing activities. Combat non-controlled and non-recorded illegal fishing (Illegal Unregulated Unreported Fishing).

* Support resource management guaranteeing its sustainable use, especially by small-scale operators (fishermen and/or small fish farms), implemented with the involvement of the main partners - scientists, government, other users, fishermen, fish farmers, etc. Empower local authorities.

Protection and valorisation of aquatic ecosystems

* Adopt programmes aiming at restoring and/or increasing biological productivity of aquatic ecosystems

* Protect and optimise zones crucial to the sustainability of fishery resource; integrated coastal management, protection of mangroves and coral areas, spawning areas, etc.

Improvement of production, marketing and contribution to food security

* Support fishing and fish farming units, processing and packaging units to help them to develop better products.

* Encourage the development of good quality products with high added value for local and regional markets.

* Improve hygiene conditions for ensuring access to exports, product promotion, labelling, etc.,

* Encourage private partnership within the field of business of fishing, processing, packaging and trading.

* Reduce wastage throughout the chain from capture (reduction in the number of rejections) to transformation (better conservation) and marketing (circuits guaranteeing better development)

* Ensure food security based on the production and marketing of fishery products.

1.3. Support for sub-regional and regional co-operation for promoting the conservation and management of resources.

Sub-regional or regional activities may be useful in many respects such as the harmonisation of national legislation and other activities better performed at this level in relation to economies of scale and sufficient critical mass. These include the following:

* Support the creation and consolidation of sub-regional and regional organisations or networks dealing with research, knowledge and resource management, monitoring and supervision of fishing activities, ecosystem protection or restoration.

* Encourage the creation and development of Regional Fishing Organisations.

* Develop regional sector programmes dealing with sanitary harmonisation, market organisation.

* Harmonise national legislation allowing better common resource management.

* Support for the setting up and co-ordination of regional networks facilitating the pooling of experience and know-how.

* Support international research programmes contributing to the objectives of development policy in this field.

* Facilitate the participation of developing countries in international negotiations concerning marketing, management of resources, biodiversity and in international fora for the exchange of scientific knowledge and any other subject connected with the FAO code of conduct.