2nd session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) Advisory Working Group on Aquatic Genetic Resources and Technologies, Rome, Italy, 19-20 October 2017.
The establishment of the Advisory Working Group on Aquatic Genetic Resources and Technologies (Working Group) and its terms of reference were approved at the 31st session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 2014, based on a request from the 7th Session of the FAO COFISub-Committee on Aquaculture, and in recognition of the tremendous opportunities to increase food production and improve livelihoods from the responsible use, management and conservation of aquatic genetic resources and technologies. Since its first session in 2015, the Working Group has assisted and provided advice to FAO on matters concerning aquatic genetic resources and technologies and in producing the first draft report on the State of the World's Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. This report contains the main discussion points and general conclusions and recommendations from the second session of the Working Group convened from 19-20 October, 2017 in FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy. The Working Group made excellent progress on implementing its work plan for 2015-2017 with all activities completed or nearly completed. The Working Group developed a new work plan for 2017-2019 which includes the revision of definitions related to genetic resources in FAO glossaries. The Working Group oversaw and contributed to the development of a comprehensive framework of minimum requirements for sustainable management, development, conservation and use of aquatic genetic resources, which was recommended for implementation. Regarding the guidance on the preparation of the draft report on the State of the World's Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SoW AqGR), the Working Group endorsed the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITWG) and provided related recommendations. Regarding the guidance on the preparation of the draft report on the State of the World's Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SoW AqGR), the Working Group endorsed the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITWG) and provided related recommendations. The Working Group reviewed relevant documents on aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture (AqGR) and derived the following six as high priority areas for FAO: * Implementation of genetic improvement programmes, including selective breeding, hybridization and polyploidization; * Risk/benefit analysis, such as FAO's Precautionary Approach, especially considering the use and introduction of non-native species and strains; * Biosecure and equitable exchange of species and germplasm with policy frameworks such as Material Transfer Agreements and Access and Benefit Sharing protocols; * National policy analysis, with explicit consideration of policy to enable the private sector; * Establishment of an information system to document and monitor and assess the status of AqGR, including a registry of farmed types (e.g. strains, hybrids, triploids) as well as stocks of wild relatives. The SoW AqGR and supporting thematic background papers were reviewed and advice provided on harmonizing definitions and producing a full glossary of key terms and concepts to accompany the SoW AqGR.