Aquaculture for all

Regional Secretariats Address Priority Fishery Areas


GENERAL - The Third Meeting of Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network (RSN 3) was held in Rome, Italy 7-8 February 2011.

It addressed many pressing issues relating to global and regional fisheries governance, including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, overcapacity, the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, small-scale and inland fisheries and the outcomes of the 29th Session of FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in Rome during the previous week. Twenty-eight RFB Secretariats were represented at the meeting with varying responsibilities over inland, coastal and marine fisheries and aquaculture, as well as four intergovernmental organizations. It was chaired by Mr Kartjan Hoydal, Secretary of the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.

The RSN, which has evolved over twelve years, was established to promote consultation and dialogue among Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs), address priority issues of common concern and foster ongoing cooperation and exchange of information. In executing its functions, the RSN serves to underpin the important role played by RFBs in the conservation, management and sustainable use of fish stocks.

The RSN issued a Statement expressing its concern about the allegations of anti-fishing lobbies in the press and some scientific journals that most RFBs are failing internationally in their efforts to effectively conserve and manage fisheries resources. Recognizing that challenges exist and there is room for further improvement of regional fisheries governance, the RSN elaborated why many of these condemnations are unjustified and welcomed evaluations of their practices and encouraged communications and constructive comments.

RSN 3 participants included:

  • Twenty-two RFB Secretariats with a primary mandate over marine and coastal fisheries and aquaculture, based in the following regions: Atlantic Ocean (9), Indian Ocean (3), Mediterranean (1) Pacific Ocean (5) and Global/Trans-ocean (4).
  • Six RFB Secretariats with a mandate over inland fisheries and aquaculture based in: Africa (3), Asia (1), Europe (1) and Latin America (1).
  • Four inter-governmental organizations, including two with a mandate over large marine ecosystems, based in the following regions: Africa (2), Indian Ocean (1), Pacific Ocean (1).