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The Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in The Marine Ecosystem

1-4 October 2001, Reykjavik, Iceland

 

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The Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem met from 1-4 October 2001 at the University Cinema and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference was organized by the Government of Iceland and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and was co-sponsored by the Government of Norway. The meeting was attended by over 400 participants, including representatives from FAO Member States and other UN Member States, UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, academic and scientific institutions, and industry. 

The conference presented stakeholders with an opportunity to gather and review the best available knowledge on marine and ecosystem issues. It sought to establish a means by which ecosystem considerations could be included in capture fisheries management, and to identify future challenges and relevant strategies. 

To achieve these objectives, participants met in plenary sessions and a Scientific Symposium, in which invited experts presented their research and views and participants engaged in general discussions and raised questions from the floor. Following an opening Plenary session in which keynote speakers set the stage for the meeting and provided various stakeholders� perspectives, delegates convened for the Scientific Symposium, which took place on Monday and Tuesday, 1-2 October. During the Symposium, participants focused on key scientific issues for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), including the dynamics of marine ecosystems, the role of people in marine ecosystems, and methods to incorporate ecosystem considerations into fisheries management. They also heard representatives of industry present their perspectives on EBFM. On Wednesday, 3 October, delegates met in Plenary to hear statements from countries, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and UN agencies. 

Following field trips to local fisheries sites on Thursday morning, 4 October, delegates reconvened for a final Plenary in the evening and approved the Reykjavik Declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem. An open-ended drafting committee established at the start of the conference formulated this Declaration during intensive negotiations. The Declaration will be submitted to the World Summit on Sustainable Development for its consideration.

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