|Eurofish Governing Council 2012|
The Annual Session of the Governing Council of Eurofish took place on 26-27 January 2012 at the Eurofish office in Copenhagen. The meeting was attended by 29 representatives from 18 European countries, of which the Member Countries represented were: Albania, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey (Croatia was not present), while the Observer nations were Armenia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Russia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. The FAO, the Baltic Sea RAC and the North Atlantic Seafood Forum were also present as Observers.
The meeting reviewed the organisation’s activities undertaken over the past year, and decided on the work programme and the budget for 2012. It also marked the tenth Anniversary of Eurofish which is an important milestone in the development of the organisation. Jochen Nierentz and Victor Hjort, the former directors of the FAO EASTFISH project and Eurofish respectively were invited as honoured guests on the occasion.
The FAO initiated a service dedicated to the post-harvest fisheries and aquaculture sectors to assist the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries after the political changes of the 1990’s. “Fish Marketing and Information Service for Eastern European Countries” (EASTFISH) started in June 1996 with funding from the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. From 1996 to 2001 Jochen Nierentz was EASTFISH Director.
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the UN, visits the UN building in Copenhagen in September 1997
Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, France, Spain and Sweden were among the countries represented at the Legal Consultation of EASTFISH in Prague, 13-14 October 1999. The Legal Consultation took place exactly on the day the EU Commission announced the six new proposed members, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Malta. EUROFISH in this context was seen as a service institution also for potential EU members to adopt EU requirements in the field of fisheries. It was decided that EASTFISH, the Danish funded FAO project would become EUROFISH.
The Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of EUROFISH, the successor organization to the regional FAO EASTFISH project, took place in Copenhagen, Denmark on 23 May 2000. During the conference Estonia, Hungary, and Latvia signed the agreement acknowledging the interest in establishing the organisation. On 17 November 2000 Albania officially signed the EUROFISH Agreement becoming a member.
On the occasion of COFI, the Norwegian Ambassador, his Excellency Mr Geir Grung, signs the EUROFISH Agreement and become a member on 26 February 2001.
On 26 February 2001, Mr Normunds Riekstins, Director of the National Board of Fisheries of the Republic of Latvia, handed the ratification documents to the Legal Office of FAO making Latvia an official EUROFISH member.
With the signature of the EUROFISH agreement by the Romanian Ambassador to Italy, his Excellency Mr Serban Stati on 12 October 2001, Romania became a member and EUROFISH officially came into existence.
Former EASTFISH staff members who were responsible for all the practical arrangements related to the establishment of EUROFISH.
Jochen Nierentz with John Ryder shortly before handing over the reins of the FAO EASTFISH project and returning to Rome.
First Governing Council of EUROFISH as an independent international organization took place in January 2002; Chairmanship of Latvia On 8 January 2002 Italy signed the EUROFISH agreement.
On 5 March 2002 the Turkish Ambassador, his Excellency Mr Necati Utkan, signed the EUROFISH Agreement on behalf of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs becoming a Eurofish member. Croatia signed the EUROFISH Agreement on 18 July 2002.
On 28 February 2003 the Host Agreement between the Danish government and EUROFISH was signed.
In June 2003 the first meeting of Directors of the FISHINFO Network (FIN): INFOFISH (Asia and the Pacific), INFOPESCA (Latin America), INFOPECHE (Africa), INFOSAMAK (Arab countries) and EUROFISH (Europe) took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The fourth Governing Council and the first informal meeting took place in November 2004
The fifth Governing Council meeting took place in November 2005; Chairmanship of Croatia.
On 25 April 2006 Spain became a member country of EUROFISH. On 24 May 2006 Italy became a member country of EUROFISH.
The sixth Governing Council took place in December 2006. On 21 December 2006 Estonia became a member country of EUROFISH.
The seventh Governing Council meeting took place in November 2007; Chairmanship of Lithuania.
On 12 January 2009 the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural development of Poland, Mr Kazimierz Florian Plocke signed the EUROFISH Agreement.
Aina Afanasjeva took up her duties as the new Director of EUROFISH in May 2009.
Outgoing Director Victor Hjort and incoming Director Aina Afanasjeva with EUROFISH team in May 2009