Daily report for 16 July 1993

1st Session of the FSA


The US supports the formation of organizations or bodies for theestablishment of conservation regimes in specific geographicregions. The US supported the FAO's initiative to conclude alegally-binding instrument on the flagging of vessels. Sweden saidthat close cooperation between all States has to beinstitutionalized and management must not be ad hoc but ongoing. Togive these regional and subregional organizations the necessarystrength, they should have compulsory membership, firminternational structures and financing from member States.

The Philippines agreed with Sweden that management of fisheryresources is a permanent activity and an institutionalizedmechanism should be set in place. Regional cooperation might begeographic or established according to the migratory species. TheRussian Federation said that regional cooperation is the mostadequate and appropriate way to resolve practical problems ofconservation. This is most effective through agreements at theglobal level. The rights of coastal States should be strengthenedand negotiations should begin to formulate objectives, timetablesand solutions. Until then, if threatened, a coastal State can takeunilateral temporary measures to preserve fish stocks.

Gabon warned against the proliferation of regional and subregionalorganizations. Tunisia said that existing organizations need to bestrengthened. The EC said that regional and subregional cooperationis important and that organizations should be open to allinterested States. Developing countries should receive preferentialtreatment. States have the right not to accede to organizations,but also have the right and duty to cooperate. Japan said that inexisting regional fishery organizations, States should participateon an equal footing. It is the responsibility of both fishingStates and coastal States to share in the financing of thoseorganizations.

The Republic of Korea said that in II(b)(iii), membership should beopen to all States on an equal basis. In II(b)(ix), new entrants toregional organizations could be of two types -- with or withoutprevious fishing records -- but each could be given an equalopportunity to utilize fishing resources. Sri Lanka said that thereshould be direct cooperation through existing governmental regionalor interregional organizations. Peru commented on II(a) (directcooperation), stating that provisions should include alternativemechanisms. Norway said that in II(a)(iii) the objective of theconsultations should be enlarged not only to agree on conservationmeasures but also on management, surveillance, control andenforcement. Norway also stressed the importance of II(b)(viii) onencouraging nonparties to join regional organizations and II(b)(x)on new entrants.

Argentina said that organizations should be strengthened throughexisting mechanisms. Peaceful settlement of disputes, assistance todeveloping countries, transparency, and open-endedness should beelements in regional organizations. Trinidad and Tobago said thatinstitutionalized cooperation is the preferable option and that adhoc consultations are useful where there are no institutions.Assistance should be given in establishing subregional agreementswhere they do not exist.

In II(b)(xi) Japan said that due consideration should be given tothe situation of developing countries. Developed countries shouldtransfer fishing technology to developing countries. Chile saidthat technical assistance should be provided for developingcountries and that cooperation involves monitoring, control, andenforcement.

On II(d), Korea does not object to assisting developing States, butthey could become new entrants. So, on the one hand, we would behelping them to develop and on the other hand we would be trying toprevent their joining. This is a problem that needs to be solved.On II(b)(iv), Korea said if conservation negotiations fail,unilateral action is permitted under the 1958 Convention. However,Article 89 of the 1982 Convention binds the States to negotiation.

Sierra Leone favors institutionalized cooperation with provisionfor ad hoc working groups to plan and strengthen programmes. SierraLeone said in its position paper that the coastal States should beallowed to collect license fees from vessels fishing in the highseas adjacent to their EEZs. These fees could be given to theregional bodies.

Malaysia agreed with the Chair's document but said it is notsufficient to say what to do or not to do. Regarding II(b)(viii),the ASEAN experience is a good example of cooperation, even withnon-member states. The EC said the basis of the obligation tocooperate should be different for straddling stocks and for highlymigratory stocks, so two different articles should address theproblem. In II(b)(vi), a share of financing can be based on eithercatch figures or correcting GNP figures. WWF said research carriedout by regional organizations should not be limited to singlespecies studies but more of an ecosystem approach. India favorsinstitutionalized consultation on mechanisms for cooperation. InII(b), coastal States should have special interests because of thedependence of the coastal communities on these species. InII(b)(vi), financing should be based on per capita rather than GNP.


The US said that regional organizations should emphasize amulti-species ecosystem approach and take into account therelationship between species and habitats. Regional arrangementsshould encourage scientific catch data, in an agreed format andtimeframe. Sweden said that the Baltic Sea Commission mightconstitute a model for regional and subregional fisheriescooperation. The EC said that exchange of technical informationbetween regions could strengthen resource management. ThePhilippines said that regional fishery organizations should promoteinformation collection and dissemination. Trinidad and Tobago saidthere should be a mechanism to facilitate exchange of informationbetween commissions, perhaps with FAO assistance. India suggesteda new sub-paragraph (k) to provide assistance to developing statesentering the fisheries.


The long-awaited draft convention sponsored by Argentina, Canada,Chile, Iceland and New Zealand was released informally on Friday.It aims at complementing the existing Law of the Sea Convention andprovides for an effective international regime for conservation andmanagement of high seas fisheries. It is to apply worldwide to allfishing fleets and places legally binding obligations on States toabide by international fisheries conservation and managementdecisions. The draft provides for the settlement of disputes,includes principles recognizing the special interests of coastalStates, and ensures consistency of conservation measures within andbeyond recognized EEZs and fishing zones. During Friday's pressbriefing, Canadian Amb. A. Randolph Ghearson commented that hehoped the draft convention would act as "a catalyst for theconvergence of views." The draft is expected to be releasedformally today as document A/CONF/164/L.11.


PLENARY: Discussion today should begin with the next twoitems on the Chair's list of issues (A/CONF.164/10): IV."Compliance with conservation and management measures" and V."Enforcement of high seas fisheries, conservation and managementmeasures." The first question to be addressed is how to ensurecompliance with regional conservation and management measures. Thiswill include discussion on issues such as monitoring, use ofquotas, data sharing on catch and effort, and enforcement action byport States. Another issue will be how to ensure effectiveenforcement of the conservation and management measures establishedfor a region or subregion with respect to a stock. Discussion onthis may include matters related to the responsibilities of flagStates, the practice of flagging and reflagging of vessels, andenforcement of flag State responsibilities.

ON THE EAST RIVER: From 1:00 till 3:00 pm today the MVGreenpeace, one of the seven boats used by Greenpeace forits international environmental campaigns, will sail past the UN onthe East River, displaying a banner that will read, "UN StopFishing for Excuses."