I have received the report in question which has been prepared by the World Wildlife Fund and Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring organisation. It makes a useful contribution to the important task of continually enhancing approaches to fisheries management.
Regional fisheries organisations, RFOs, are multilateral organisations operating under a UN framework which primarily manage fish stocks outside exclusive fisheries zones or fish stocks that straddle those zones. Ireland's participation in international fisheries management takes place in the context of our membership of the EU, within the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy, CFP. The CFP governs the management of all fisheries in which Ireland participates and Ireland contributes to the work and development of regional fisheries organisations within that framework.
The current regional fisheries management system is developing on an ongoing basis. The developing regional management system offers the best system for the development of fisheries management on the high seas. Where RFOs have developed, they promote agreement across international boundaries, reflecting the migratory nature of many fish stocks, which necessarily involves reconciling the views of a number of different nations.
For the eastern Atlantic waters, the main regional fisheries organisations are the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, based in London, and the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, based in Madrid. Both organisations make an important contribution to fisheries management.
In European waters, it has been clear for some time that there are problems in regard to certain stocks. However the CFP, through its review in 2002 in which Ireland played a prominent part, has put strategies in place to address these difficulties. These measures include strengthened control and enforcement, recovery plans for stocks outside safe biological limits and catch and effort limitations.