Summary report, 15–26 August 1994

3rd Session of the FSA

The United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and HighlyMigratory Fish Stocks concluded its third substantive session at UNHeadquarters in New York on 26 August 1994. This Conference, one ofthe major outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environmentand Development (UNCED), was called for by the UN General Assemblyin one of a series of resolutions designed to implement thedecisions taken in Rio.

The Conference, which brought together many delegates responsiblefor negotiating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea with thoseinvolved in the UNCED process, addressed the divisive issue of themanagement of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fishstocks on the high seas. According to the 1982 Law of the SeaConvention, straddling and highly migratory fish stocks includespecies occurring within the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of twoor more coastal States or both within the EEZ and in an area beyondand adjacent to it. An EEZ is defined as an area extending beyondand adjacent to the territorial sea but not beyond 200 miles fromthe baselines. Many of these stocks are among the most commerciallyvaluable species and are, therefore, subject to intense fishingefforts. Recent reports have concluded that many straddling andhighly migratory fish stocks are either over-exploited or depleted.

The Chair, Satya Nandan (Fiji), opened the session and urgedparticipants to take critical decisions and show a new kind ofglobal commitment as UNCLOS enters into force. At UNCED, Statesadmitted to the failure of the international community to manageglobal fish resources. Part of the problem was a lack ofcooperation among States, who have ignored the fact that the rightto fish is conditional and accompanied by the duty to manage andconserve the resources for present and future generations. ThisConference must establish minimum international standards, ensurethat the measures taken in the EEZ and on the high seas arecompatible and coherent, ensure that there is an effectivemechanism for compliance and enforcement of those measures, providefor a globally-agreed framework for regional cooperation, andestablish a compulsory, binding dispute settlement mechanismconsistent with UNCLOS.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONFERENCE

The problems related to high seas fisheries are not new to the UNsystem. Participants at the Third UN Conference on the Law of theSea were well aware of the issue, however, attempts to deal with itduring the course of the ten years of negotiations that concludedin 1982 were not successful. The negotiators decided to leave suchproblems to be resolved between States concerned with high seasfisheries in different regions. During the last decade, however,the pressure on high seas fisheries has grown rapidly, and theproblems have become more urgent. A number of events in the early1990s indicated that an international conference should be convenedto resolve the issues related to high seas fisheries. One forumwhere this was discussed was the Preparatory Committee for UNCED.After long and difficult negotiations, participants at the EarthSummit in Rio agreed to "convene an intergovernmental conferenceunder UN auspices with a view to promoting effective implementationof the provisions of the Law of the Sea on straddling and highlymigratory fish stocks."

The resolution establishing the Conference on Straddling FishStocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (47/192) was adopted by theUN General Assembly on 22 December 1992. The resolution states thatthe Conference, drawing on scientific and technical studies by FAO,should: identify and assess existing problems related to theconservation and management of highly migratory and straddling fishstocks; consider means of improving fisheries cooperation amongStates; and formulate appropriate recommendations. The resolutionalso stipulated that the Conference should complete its work "asearly as possible" in advance of the 49th session of the UN GeneralAssembly.

The organizational session for the Conference was held at UNHeadquarters in New York from 19-23 April 1993. The participantsadopted the rules of procedure and agenda, appointed a CredentialsCommittee, and agreed on how its substantive work would be carriedout. Satya N. Nandan (Fiji) was elected Chair of the Conference.Nandan was asked to prepare a paper containing a list ofsubstantive subjects and issues as a guide for the Conference, anddelegations were requested to submit their proposals to theSecretariat.

FIRST SUBSTANTIVE SESSION

The first session of the Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks andHighly Migratory Fish Stocks met from 12-30 July 1993, at UNHeadquarters in New York. The Plenary addressed the major issuesbefore it, guided by the Chair's summary of the issues. The Plenaryheld formal sessions on each of the issues outlined and thenadjourned to allow informal consultations to continue. At each ofthese informal meetings, Nandan presented the group with a workingpaper that summarized the issues raised in the Plenary and inpapers submitted by interested delegations.

The major issues discussed at the first session were: the nature ofconservation and management measures to be established throughcooperation; the mechanisms for international cooperation; regionalfisheries management organizations or arrangements; flag Stateresponsibilities; compliance and enforcement of high seas fisheriesand management measures; responsibilities of port States;non-parties to a subregional or regional agreement or arrangement;dispute settlement; compatibility and coherence between nationaland international conservation measures for the same stocks;special requirements of developing countries; review of theimplementation of conservation and management measures; and minimumdata requirements for the conservation and management of thesestocks. At the conclusion of the session, the Chair tabled a draftnegotiating text that will serve as the basis for negotiation atthis session of the Conference.

SECOND SUBSTANTIVE SESSION

The second session of the Conference met from 14-31 March 1994, atUN Headquarters in New York. The delegates continued debate leftunresolved at the end of the previous session and their review ofthe Chair's negotiating text (A/CONF.164/13*).

The first day of the Conference consisted of general statements andthe Conference then convened in informals until the end of thesecond week when informal-informals were held to attempt to preparea new "clean" version of the text. These sessions were held untilthe middle of the third week, and all NGOs were excluded. As aresult, five out of fourteen days of negotiation were carried outbehind closed doors. The Plenary resumed briefly on Wednesday whenthe Chair briefed the Conference on progress made during closedsessions. On the final day of the Conference, the Chair producedthe RNT.

UNCLOS UPDATE

On 16 November 1993, Guyana became the 60th State to ratify the UNConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Consequently, theConvention will come into force on 16 November 1994. While 64States had acceded to the Convention, Iceland was the onlydeveloped State who had ratified it and many felt that Part XI ofUNCLOS, which deals with deep seabed mining, needed to bere-drafted. Negotiations were held and an "Agreement Relating tothe Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention onthe Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982" (the "Agreement") wasadopted by the resumed session of the General Assembly on 28 July1994. The Agreement in no way affects the provisions of UNCLOS thatdeal with the management of marine living resources, but severalindustrialized nations have either signed or announced theirintention to sign the Agreement. UNCLOS will, therefore, come intoforce and include many more countries than it did prior to theAgreement.

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE

The third substantive session of the UN Conference on StraddlingFish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks opened on Monday, 15August 1994, at UN Headquarters in New York. Nandan announced theprogramme of work and said that after delegates made generalstatements, the Conference would convene in informal sessions toconsider A/CONF.164/13/Rev.1, the Chair's Revised Negotiating Text(the "RNT") on a section-by-section basis. He also mentioned thatat one point, the delegates would need to address the final outcomeof the Conference.

The first day of the Conference consisted of general statements andthen convened in informals as the delegates reviewed the RNT. ADraft Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of theUnited Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling FishStocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (the "Draft Agreement") wassubmitted by the Chair during the second week, and based on thecomments that the delegates had made on the RNT. Informalconsultations on the most difficult issues were then carried outbetween the Chair and interested delegations. The delegates reactedto the text on Thursday and the last version of the Draft Agreementwas issued before the Conference adjourned the next day.

NEGOTIATIONS ON A/CONF.164/13/REV.1

The following is a summary of the discussion on each of theissues, following the order of the sections in the RNT.

PREAMBLE

The Russian Federation said that the Preamble broadly reflected thenegotiations of the March session. Still lacking in the Preamblewere paragraphs dealing with the outstanding UNCLOS problemsrelating to straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, thespecific rights of coastal States, and the exclusion of Part IXdealing with enclosed and semi-enclosed seas.

Ukraine welcomed the Chair's efforts to establish internationalcooperation on conservation and management of straddling and highlymigratory fish stocks. He said the significance of UNCLOS needs tobe more precisely introduced in the Preamble. Ukraine supported theRussian Federation in properly reflecting the rights of coastalStates.

China asked that reference to Agenda 21 be amended to refer toChapter 17 and that the enhanced reflection be extended towardProgramme Areas C and D. Since the question of jurisdiction existsnot only on the high seas but also in the EEZs, it is necessary torefer to "living marine resources." Changing the emphasis onsustainability to sustainable utilization of fish resources wouldbetter reflect other environmental and natural factors.

The EU, supported by Korea, Mexico and Poland, suggested thedeletion of reference to high seas fisheries in the thirdpreambular paragraph. The EU said that matters of escape controlare better treated by compliance with international conservationand management measures, as preferentially reflected in Agenda 21and covered in the FAO's agreement.

Thailand said the fishing capacity of a fleet is more importantthan its size. He could not support provisions suggesting that acoastal State could exercise any jurisdiction beyond its EEZ.

Peru supported the Preamble, but suggested that if the Conferenceagreed to refine it, appropriate alternative language could beextrapolated from paragraphs 4 and 6 in Ecuador's proposal(A/CONF.164/L.44*).

Mexico said the Preamble should include reference to the FAO's Codeof Conduct and the Cancn Declaration. It would be beneficial todefine the norms of responsible fishing at the world level.Mauritania supported Mexico and Indonesia in calling for inclusionof reference to responsible fishing as promoted by the CancnDeclaration. Mexico and Indonesia asked that the Preamble recognizethe special rights of developing countries.

New Zealand disagreed with the EU, Japan, Norway and Chile, andsaid he could support reference to the adoption of the FAOCompliance Agreement in the Preamble, but could not endorse theagreement. New Zealand and its South Pacific colleagues underlinedtheir concerns that the FAO Agreement was inappropriate, unlawfuland possibly contrary to UNCLOS in excluding vessels under 24meters. The US, with concurrence from FAO, said that the FAOAgreement applies to all vessels, with the exception of certainadministrative requirements.

Canada associated itself with Mexico, Peru and others and said itcould not accept re-opening debate on the Conference mandate.

Ecuador objected to attempts to delete references to the high seasand to attempts to include references to the EEZs. He added thatdelegates cannot become oracles in the ministry of truth andrewrite history.

Australia supported New Zealand in underlining the FAO Agreement'sshortcomings. Australia said reference to the high seas, both withrespect to the Conference mandate and Agenda 21, should bemaintained.

The Chair said the Conference was making "heavy weather" of thePreamble. He said he favored a short Preamble as found in UNCLOS.The Conference is concerned with implementing the Law of the Sea.A practical approach should identify workable mechanisms.

Peru, supported by Uruguay, suggested that a final compromise mightbe to include the words "to complement the relevant provisions" inthe penultimate paragraph of the Preamble.

SECTION I -- OBJECTIVE

With regard to Section I, the objective, the EU said that the finalsentence repeats an obligation that arises within UNCLOS and,therefore, is not complementary to the Convention. Japan said hepreferred the text as presented. New Zealand supported theobjective, but asked that the text be broadened to include issuesof by-catch, non-target species and associated species. The RussianFederation said that Article 4 of the Ecuador proposal defines abetter objective.

SECTION II -- APPLICATION

The Chair said that several paragraphs of Section III on generalprinciples could be included in the discussion of Section II.Poland, supported by Korea, suggested amendments to make it moreconsistent with paragraph 1, which recognizes the concept ofbiological unity, and to mention the whole range of the stocks asfield of application. Chile regretted attempts to blur thedistinction between high seas and EEZs, and called for a clauseprotecting the sovereignty of the coastal States. Argentinaconcurred and said that the scope of application had previouslybeen agreed generally and that introducing too many changes to thenegotiating text was not helpful. Brazil insisted that the rightsand duties of States should not be separated. Ecuador asked thatthe exceptional character of the application in the EEZ bereinforced.

SECTION III -- GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Japan said that many of the measures listed in sub-paragraphs B andC (precautionary approach and compatibility) could apply both tohigh seas and EEZs, but that this should also be true forsub-paragraph A on the nature of conservation and managementmeasures. There are only a few provisions in A that would not applyin the EEZ such as 3(g) on sharing of data and 3(k) ondiscrimination, but the other provisions should apply to both zonessince they deal with general principles. Other distant waterfishing States supported this proposal to respect the biologicalunity of the stocks. This view was supported by the EU, who saidthat the formulation needs to be more general, while respecting thesovereignty of the coastal States. The obligation of the coastalStates in their EEZs should be made more specific and refer to anobligation to conserve.

Canada likened this attempt to put more burden on the coastalStates as "salami tactics" on the part of the distant water fishingStates, while Peru said they had an obstructionist attitude. TheChair called on all participants to calm down and said that theissue of compatibility could be solved if it is looked at in apractical way. Coastal States and distant water fishing Statesexchanged rhetorical arguments throughout the afternoon.

While some delegates understood the need for compatibility betweenmeasures in the EEZ and on the high seas, they highlighted the factthat this should not lead to identical measures, since somemeasures taken on the high seas may not be applicable to the EEZs.Canada suggested, and Australia and Indonesia concurred, thatparagraph 3 be split to reflect the concerns of coastal States andwhere the former part A would apply exclusively to the high seas.It might then be necessary to add an additional clause to note that"nothing in this convention shall be construed as prejudicing thesovereign rights of the coastal States ...." India added that whilethis amendment was a helpful suggestion, it should not apply to theparagraphs dealing with the special requirements of developingStates and scientific research. The US said that the sovereignty ofthe coastal States in their EEZs should in no way be compromised,but that the general principles in Section III.A should apply inboth the EEZs and on the high seas.

China asked that a footnote be added to explain that "high seas"refers to the area beyond 200 miles. The Chair noted that thisaddresses cases where the coastal State has not declared anexclusive zone, but added that he was not sure that such a footnotewould solve the problem. Russia suggested that "beyond the EEZ" beadded after "on the high seas." It was highlighted that severalother terms need to be defined carefully in view of the disputesthat will arise. Canada suggested that they be inserted after thePreamble and before the objective. Japan said that UNCLOS hadlisted highly migratory species without defining them and warnedagainst inconsistency, but Russia answered that this imprecisionwas partly to blame for the fisheries crisis.

Brazil asked why paragraph 3(a) referred to economic factors aswell as the best scientific evidence. The Chair answered that thiswas derived from Article 61 of UNCLOS. India said that a referenceto the best scientific evidence might not apply to developingStates, and both Brazil and Sweden asked whether it was wise toretain such an old concept as that of Maximum Sustainable Yield("MSY"). Sweden suggested that reference be made to the long-termsustainability of fisheries.

Brazil said that nowhere in the text is mention made of specialconservation areas, and he suggested that they might be establishedwherever oceanic ecosystems are recognized for their importance tothe life cycle of the stocks.

Mexico suggested that the recommendations in Section III.A(c) and(d) on species associated with target species and selective gear bedealt through appropriate information on by-catch.

Thailand asked that the reference to the number of vessels bereplaced with the capacity of vessels.

The delegate of Indonesia said that if paragraph 3(a) was appliedin the EEZ it would represent a complete negation of the EEZ. Withregard to paragraph 3(f), on developing countries, it is necessaryto help those countries fulfill their obligations but also toprovide mechanisms to enable their participation in high seasfisheries. The Chair suggested that all developing country issuesbe clustered together.

The delegate of India, supported by Thailand, agreed that there wasno legal duty to cooperate on resources in the EEZ. Regarding thebest scientific advice, this can only be attained with the consentof the State concerned.

The delegate of Kenya emphasized the need to strengthen capacitybuilding. He was concerned that environmental factors should bemore expressly taken into account under Section III.B, which dealswith the precautionary approaches to fisheries management.

Korea said that Section III.C.7(d) should be amended to betterreflect that management measures established on the high seas wouldbe no more stringent than those established in the EEZ. Poland saidthat the paragraph should be deleted, while China maintained thatthe requirement be given vice-versa status.

The delegate from Ukraine said that biological unity should not beprejudicial to the sovereign rights of the coastal State andsupported Canada's contention that Section II, dealing withapplication, be split into two parts. This was supported by Fiji.Ukraine supported the Russian Federation's intervention that seeksa viable and workable management approach to unsustainable fishingpractices in enclosed and semi-enclosed seas. He suggested thatthis could be adequately incorporated into paragraph 3(e), whichprovides for States to take measures to deal with over-harvestingand over-capacity.

Sweden tendered three specific observations on Section III:decisions on conservation and management measures should be basedon the state of the marine environment; the interest of localcommunities and indigenous people should be adequately taken intoaccount when negotiating regional and subregional agreements; andclearer guidelines be established in the sub-section on theprecautionary approach to fisheries management, Section III.B.4(d).An alternative Swedish text underlines the need for States to bemore cautious in managing a resource about which little might beknown and, additionally, seeks amendment to Annex 2 of the RNT sothat the MSY should be viewed as a limit for fisheries management.

Fiji said that when redrafting the RNT it is necessary to bring inthe full rights and obligations of coastal States as defined byUNCLOS and keep the principles enshrined in the FAO ComplianceAgreement.

The EU said that it was not necessarily the five percent of fishcaught outside the EEZ that caused management problems inside theEEZ and it was not proper to use different principles when dealingwith the biological unity of fish stocks.

Thailand supported the Indian position that a quotas concept shouldonly apply with regard to a fair and equitable distribution of highseas resources. Referring to the collection of data, Thailand,supported by Ecuador, said this should be available free of chargesince it is necessary to give developing States the means to applyeffective management measures. The US said there is a need tocollate common data throughout the entire geographic range of thestock.

Poland said he could not accept any extension of the rights ofcoastal States, but he could accept the rights to cooperate on anequal footing. He could not support the concluding sentence of thechapeau in Section III.C.7, requiring States to respect measuresand arrangements adopted by relevant coastal States in accordancewith UNCLOS.

Poland circulated alternative text on paragraph 8 dealing with thedispute settlement mechanisms under which States are to settledisputes over incompatible and uncoordinated conservation andmanagement measures.

With regard to Part B on the precautionary approaches to fisheriesmanagement, the representative of Japan said the RNT recognized theintense discussions of the Working Group held in March. The US didnot agree and said both Part B and its accompanying annex neededstrengthening since it did not reflect the Working Group's text.The Russian Federation said that "minimum standards" in paragraph4(d) was not a careful precautionary approach to fisheriesconservation and management. The term "optimum standards" is moreapplicable. The EU said the provision to widely apply theprecautionary approach in the chapeau of paragraph 4 is not clear.Clarity can be promoted by ensuring that the concept of biologicalunity is applied to the entire stock throughout its entire area ofdistribution. The delegate from Chile, and former Chair of theWorking Group on the Precautionary Approach, said that as the textproperly reflected his report, he could not support any amendments.

Japan said that the second sentence of UNCLOS Article 64, dealingwith cooperation by relevant coastal States where no appropriateregional or other organization exists, is missing in paragraph5(b), and he circulated alternative language to cover this anomaly.

In Section III.C, compatibility, China said it was necessary tointroduce the concept of rational utilization when agreeing uponthe conservation of fish stocks in the area adjacent to the EEZ ofa coastal State. Regarding the Russian intervention for inclusionof a new paragraph 3(g) with respect to temporary measuresnecessary to prevent overfishing in enclosed and semi-enclosedareas, the Chinese delegate said this would provide for unilateralcoastal State action contrary to UNCLOS.

India supported the use of UNCLOS language in paragraph 8 ondispute settlement provisions.

Japan said that this proposal on subparagraph 5(b) is no more orless than what is provided in UNCLOS. New Zealand stated that eventhough the language comes from UNCLOS, it did not mean that suchlanguage must be completely reflected in the RNT. India favoredkeeping the chapeau of paragraph 7 as it is. In paragraph 8, hesupported the use of language from UNCLOS regarding disputesettlement mechanisms. New Zealand supported making the provisionsof paragraph 4(b) mandatory, especially programmes for collectionof data on fishing of non-target species.

The representative of the Canadian Oceans Caucus said that underSection III.A(b)(ii), limits to fishing efforts should includecapacity along with the number of fishing days.

The representative of the World Wide Fund for Nature said thatSection B of the RNT, "Precautionary approaches to fisheriesmanagement," requires that the precautionary approach be widelyapplied to fisheries management, both on the high seas and withinEEZs, in order to protect the marine environment. In sub-paragraph(b), she suggested that States protect associated ecosystems.

The representative of the Alaska Marine Conservation Councilsuggested incorporating an amended version of the ScientificWorking Group Paper on "Reference Points for Fisheries Management,"prepared during the second substantive session of the Conference,into any international instrument evolving from this forum. Theamendment suggests that impacts suffered by the marine ecosystemand fish stocks from toxic pollution and the effects of increasedsolar ultraviolet radiation in the marine ecosystem be calculatedand provided for in the establishment of all fishery managementplans.

The Chair stated that common ground has now been found on theobjectives. The Conference is working to ensure long-termsustainability of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.There is broad agreement on the application of some of the basicprinciples. He said that everyone agrees that principles relatingto the precautionary approach should be applied throughout therange of the stocks, taking into account their biological unity.There is common ground on compatibility to ensure stocks in the EEZand the high seas are managed on the basis of common minimumstandards. The Chair said that the area presenting difficulty isthe application of minimum standards in the economic zone and inthe adjacent high seas. The problem is one of respect for thesovereign rights of coastal States to manage their resources andthe interrelationship of the stocks found in the adjacent highseas. The Chair suggested the possibility of a roundtable toexamine the problem of enclosed and semi-enclosed seas.

SECTION IV -- INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Most delegates said that this section of the text represented agood balance of the various interests involved. Papua New Guineasuggested that it be shortened without losing the essence of itsprovisions. Chile said that this section deals with two differentaspects -- international cooperation and regional fisheriesmanagement organizations -- and he suggested that it be divided .

Japan proposed that a new paragraph be added in Part A that dealswith mechanisms for international cooperation. This new draftparagraph deals with the effects of actions taken in application ofa non-fishery organization that have an implication on theconservation and management measures taken by a fisheriesorganization or arrangement.

The issue of openness or exclusiveness of the organizations wasdebated at length, with China arguing that any country,irrespective of its geographical location, has a right and duty toparticipate in the conservation and management measures of livingmarine resources in any area of the high seas. States with aninterest in the stocks concerned should, therefore, be deleted atthe end of paragraph 14. Argentina and others suggested that onlythose with a fishing interest should be admitted to the regionalorganization. Uruguay said that those with no interest should notbe admitted.

The Russian Federation said that despite the freedom of fishing,certain straddling stocks are fully utilized by the coastal Stateitself, and a regime should not violate the rights of coastalfishers utilizing the resource on a primary basis. India agreedthat the coastal States should have preference in areas adjacent totheir EEZs. The EU called for openness and said that exclusivenesscould undermine the measures taken on the part of non-members.Korea estimated, and Thailand concurred, that sub-paragraphs a, b,c and d, of paragraph 21 are all discriminatory against newentrants and conferred a preferential treatment on existingmembers, which is unacceptable.

Norway, supported by the US, Argentina and Chile, answered that theprinciple of openness should apply, subject only to the terms ofparticipation of the organization itself. Canada agreed andsuggested an amendment to that effect, while adding that accesswould be on a non-discriminatory basis. The Russian Federation saidthat it had concerns over paragraph 18 and its reference to Article123 of UNCLOS with regard to enclosed and semi-enclosed seas. Hecalled for a more extended wording of this paragraph.

In paragraph 21, which deals with the criteria for allocation ofparticipatory rights to new members of the organizations andarrangements, Norway said that the criteria should also apply tothe distribution of stocks among all members. Both Norway andCanada asked that the biological unity of the stocks be respectedin this regard. One cannot simply assume that there are new membersbut must first look at how the decision to accept new members istaken. Chile also highlighted some important oversights such asdecision-making in the organizations and how the organizations areset up. He added that coastal States are a minority and distantwater fishing States the majority, but the coastal States are notindifferent to the way in which the organizations are formed or howdecisions are taken within them.

Senegal highlighted the importance of international cooperation andregional arrangements to develop fisheries. Several references tocoastal fishing communities and coastal developing States gave riseto debate since the EU, Korea and others wanted to delete the word"coastal." The representative of a Latin American State accused thedistant water fishing States of just trying to delete any referenceto "coastal," wherever it occurred.

The US suggested that reference be made to the integrity of theregional organizations. With regard to sub-paragraphs (g) and (k)of paragraph 20, Thailand argued that they were vesting authorityin a supra-national entity that would have jurisdiction overnon-members, which is contrary to the law of treaties. Uruguayanswered that some obligations apply even to non-parties, as is thecase with the protection of endangered species.

Sweden said that with regard to paragraph 14 and access toorganizations, the only way to stop over-exploitation is toencourage open membership, and not to restrict it to those Statesonly interested in fishing. A closed membership would exclude newentrants and, thus, discriminate against developing countries,especially if the license fees are high.

Poland suggested that paragraphs 13 and 14 be amalgamated, but thatwith respect to paragraph 16, he supported the alternative Japanesetext. Regarding paragraph 20(d) on data collection, the work of theFAO in drafting the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing shouldbe reflected. Speaking in further support of Section IV, Canadasuggested regrouping a number of paragraphs to tighten the overallstructure. Taking up an earlier point made by the EU, he said hecould not support the deletion of "biological characteristics" inparagraph 17(a) with replacement by "biological unity" becausebiological unity is just one of many characteristics of a fishstock. The EU delegate preferred specific inclusion of "biologicalunity" in the RNT.

Ukraine commented that international cooperation is the only meansof achieving sustainability of fish stocks, but the structure ofSection IV is insufficiently clear for translation into alegally-binding document. He favored Chile's restructuringproposal, since the basis for cooperation is chiefly the obligationof the States who harvest the fish stocks. With respect tointergovernmental organizations and NGOs, he supported theiradmission as observers only. India favored some provision towithhold the transmission of data if it is deemed incompatible withthe coastal State's national interest.

Concluding the discussion on Section IV, the World Wide Fund forNature said that in recognizing the important role played byregional agreements, it is necessary for membership to be open andnon-discriminatory and include those parties with an interest inconservation and sustainability.

SECTION V -- COMPLIANCE WITH AND ENFORCEMENT OF HIGH SEAS FISHERIES CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES

Korea said his government was now prepared to accept boarding andinspection of its vessels, but cannot accept the detention offishing vessels on the high seas, as this is contrary to theprovisions of UNCLOS. Japan said that Part A, on duties of the flagState, generally follows what currently exists in the FAOCompliance Agreement, but, under paragraph 29, fishing mastersshould not be indiscriminately sanctioned. Detention of a flagState vessel by a coastal State should only be with the consent ofthe flag State.

Panama said that it is currently complying with most of theserequirements, but could not accept inspection of its vessels otherthan by inspectors authorized by Panama. Malaysia said that the RNTrepresented a move away from flag State control and this isacceptable because of the serious level of over-fishing.

The Cook Islands, supported by Vanuatu, said the RNT does notprovide adequate provision for developing coastal States that arealso flag States and the problems facing these developing Statesmust be recognized.

The Russian Federation, while supporting the general provisions ofSection V, introduced a new paragraph under Part C on regionalagreements and arrangements, which includes the right to prohibita vessel to fish on the high seas in contravention of conservationand management measures. Argentina said the efficiency of theregime depends on the system of compliance and enforcement and itcould not support deletion of the reference to detention and arrestof violating flag State vessels.

China argued that there should be no change from the provisions ofUNCLOS with regard to violating flag vessels. Sweden said that tohalt over-exploitation of fish stocks, it is necessary to agree onenhanced enforcement measures, as promoted in Parts A and B of theRNT. Mexico spoke in support of licenses to fish on the high seas,but said that monitoring programmes cannot be established quicklyand efficiently without the transfer of technology.

Canada endorsed the position of the EU that there should beflexibility for regional organizations, but acknowledged thatflexibility should be in the procedures themselves and recommendedmaintaining paragraph 31. This would then allow each regional orsubregional organization to adopt procedures to suit their owncircumstances. Member States of regional organizations should agreeon procedures for execution, but implementation of the principleswould fall to the organization. Canada wanted to adopt a bindinginternational convention through which flag States agree ahead oftime to the detention of vessels flying their flags with respect toparagraph 34. He endorsed the proposal by the Russian Federationthat promotes a ban on reflagging on the high seas. Canada alsosupported the inclusion of additional text promoted by Ecuador andsupported by Argentina and Indonesia on illegal incursions into theEEZ. Canada associated itself with Australia by wanting to keep asmuch as possible of the RNT. Canada supported the proposal by Samoathat high seas fishing vessels carry appropriate vessel positioningequipment and the communication facility to transmit thatinformation.

Vanuatu supported Australia, Samoa and the Solomon Islands forretention of the text in Section V. The EU supported maintainingreference to the FAO agreement that should be applied generally andcover fishing activities for all species. Poland said that flagStates are responsible and he could not agree to give coastalStates more control than the provisions of UNCLOS, but acknowledgedthe importance of the FAO Compliance Agreement. Korea spoke insupport of strengthening flag State responsibility for fishing onthe high seas. Uruguay praised the text and suggested that, ifadopted, it would require a few modifications. He supported Mexicoon the provisions of observer programmes.

The US said extensive modification of the text would be requiredbefore it could become binding. He said the FAO ComplianceAgreement, although misunderstood, did have teeth. There is noloophole with respect to vessels less than 24 meters. The US gaveadvance notice of a roundtable to consider the FAO ComplianceAgreement where delegates and NGOs would be welcome. He alsoannounced an October workshop, with FAO participation, that willaddress enforcement measures in the exclusive zones of developingcountries and explain the state-of-the-art equipment to assist inenforcement.

Brazil suggested amending the text so that it refers to the factthat another member State can require an inspection. Argentinasuggested that inspections be carried out to ensure compliance withinternational conservation and management standards as set up bythe regional organization. The Chair agreed that it would make nosense for a flag State to ask a port State to enforce its own laws.

Russia said that some of the provisions in this section alreadyexist since the port State has the right to take enforcementmeasures within its own territorial waters. He suggested anamendment under which violation of the conservation and managementmeasures in the preceding three years is a violation under the portState's legislation.

Argentina suggested, and Canada concurred, that the interdictionmeasures become mandatory, but several delegates felt that it wouldbe contrary to the sovereign rights of the port State and suggesteda chapeau specifying that these measures should not prejudice thesesovereign rights. Indonesia said, and Chile agreed, that thedrafting was not very clear and he questioned how a vessel could bedenied access if it was already in the port. If the ship is in anillegal situation it should be arrested.

The EU agreed that the ship should be let in rather than sent backon the high seas where no inspection can take place. With regard tocases of force majeure, several States requested that it bequalified as "genuine" or "well-defined."

Japan, supported by Poland, called for caution in awarding portState authority, since the RNT assumes that both the port State andthe vessel entering the port are parties to a regional arrangementand the authority of the port State stems from the regionalarrangement itself. The authorization of the flag State is anecessary requirement since careless and unreasonable inspectioncould lead to the deterioration of the vessel's catch. Likewise,detention of a vessel should not be carried out without theauthorization of the flag State. Korea said that it had changed itsposition and could now agree to inspection at the request of theflag State as well as denial of access, but that it had problemswith the detention provisions of paragraph 38. The EU added thatthese measures should be in accordance with international law andwith GATT in particular. Poland suggested that a general clause ofnon-discrimination be added.

Brazil answered that the RNT was more balanced and the port Statedoes not need a special reason to perform inspection since theState has sovereign rights in the territorial sea. New Zealand saidthat the RNT is a minimum and expressed concern at attempts tolimit further the authority of the port State. Papua New Guineasaid that in terms of safety at sea and marine pollution, portState jurisdiction has become the norm. Morocco added that fordeveloping States, this competence also involves a weightyresponsibility.

With regard to potential damage to valuable catch, New Zealand saida clause could be added, urging the port State to take allreasonable measures to preserve the catch quality. Ecuadorsuggested an amendment that would require the port State tocommunicate any evidence to the flag State. India asked that "portState" be defined clearly or replaced with "coastal State." Uruguaysaid the term was clearly defined in Article 218 of UNCLOS.

SECTION VI -- PORT STATES

Brazil suggested amending the text so that it refers to the factthat another member State can require an inspection. Argentinasuggested that inspections be carried out to ensure compliance withinternational conservation and management standards as set up bythe regional organization. The Chair agreed that it would make nosense for a flag State to ask a port State to enforce its own laws.

Russia said that some of the provisions in this section alreadyexist since the port State has the right to take enforcementmeasures within its own territorial waters. He suggested anamendment under which violation of the conservation and managementmeasures in the preceding three years is a violation under the portState's legislation.

Argentina suggested, and Canada concurred, that the interdictionmeasures become mandatory, but several delegates felt that it wouldbe contrary to the sovereign rights of the port State and suggesteda chapeau specifying that these measures should not prejudice thesesovereign rights. Indonesia said, and Chile agreed, that thedrafting was not very clear and he questioned how a vessel could bedenied access if it was already in the port. If the ship is in anillegal situation it should be arrested.

The EU agreed that the ship should be let in rather than sent backon the high seas where no inspection can take place. With regard tocases of force majeure, several States requested that it bequalified as "genuine" or "well-defined."

Japan, supported by Poland, called for caution in awarding portState authority, since the RNT assumes that both the port State andthe vessel entering the port are parties to a regional arrangementand the authority of the port State stems from the regionalarrangement itself. The authorization of the flag State is anecessary requirement since careless and unreasonable inspectioncould lead to the deterioration of the vessel's catch. Likewise,detention of a vessel should not be carried out without theauthorization of the flag State. Korea said that it had changed itsposition and could now agree to inspection at the request of theflag State as well as denial of access, but that it had problemswith the detention provisions of paragraph 38. The EU added thatthese measures should be in accordance with international law andwith GATT in particular. Poland suggested that a general clause ofnon-discrimination be added.

Brazil answered that the RNT was more balanced and the port Statedoes not need a special reason to perform inspection since theState has sovereign rights in the territorial sea. New Zealand saidthat the RNT is a minimum and expressed concern at attempts tolimit further the authority of the port State. Papua New Guineasaid that in terms of safety at sea and marine pollution, portState jurisdiction has become the norm. Morocco added that fordeveloping States, this competence also involves a weightyresponsibility.

With regard to potential damage to valuable catch, New Zealand saida clause could be added, urging the port State to take allreasonable measures to preserve the catch quality. Ecuadorsuggested an amendment that would require the port State tocommunicate any evidence to the flag State. India asked that "portState" be defined clearly or replaced with "coastal State." Uruguaysaid the term was clearly defined in Article 218 of UNCLOS.

SECTION VII -- NON-PARTICIPANTS IN SUBREGIONAL OR REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS OR ARRANGEMENTS

China suggested that paragraph 40 be amended to encouragenon-member States to abide by the conservation and managementmeasures that are taken by the regional arrangement since, underthe Vienna Treaty, a State is not bound if it is not a party.Canada answered that the duty to cooperate in conservation andmanagement measures stemmed from existing international customarylaws and UNCLOS. Peru added that the Chinese amendment wouldundermine the effectiveness of the agreement.

Norway, supported by Canada and Peru, proposed amendments thatwould reinforce coastal State enforcement against both parties andnon-parties of an eventual convention. Non-parties should beencouraged to adhere to the convention and adopt laws andregulations consistent with its provisions. Parties shouldcooperate in a manner consistent with the convention andinternational law and exchange information on activities of vesselsflying the flag of non-parties that undermine conservation andmanagement measures. The EU, supported by Poland, warned againstextending coastal State enforcement jurisdiction. Canada remindedthe EU that mutual rights must be respected. Japan suggested thatthe phrase "within the framework of the organization" be added.

On paragraph 43, which deals with the activities that States canundertake to discourage undermining actions of non-members, Panama,supported by Canada and the EU, suggested that the words "inaccordance with international law" be added at the end. Indonesiadisagreed. The EU argued, and Mexico and Korea agreed, that theactions to be taken should be collective. Consequently, the word"individually" should be deleted. Peru, supported by Iceland,disagreed with this suggestion since it would virtually preventcoastal States from taking any action. Argentina agreed andsuggested that if "individually" was deleted, "collectively" shouldalso be taken out. Canada and Poland agreed.

With regard to paragraph 42 on the exchange of information, theRussian Federation proposed that member States exchange informationon the activities of non-parties whose activities undermine themeasures that the organization has taken.

The representative of the Canadian Oceans Caucus reiterated theneed for an international conservation body to oversee and ensureimplementation of legally-binding standards and systems. She alsosuggested that "fishers" and "fisherfolk" be substituted for"fishermen."

SECTION VIII -- DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

The Chair reminded delegates that the text is designed to expediteaspects of UNCLOS, especially with reference to fragile andseasonal fisheries.

The US proposed that the RNT recognize the ability of regionalorganizations or arrangements to adopt procedures for thecompulsory and binding dispute resolution mechanisms, but it shouldnot compel them to set up such procedures. Many disputes infisheries management require speedy resolution. Japan preferred theUNCLOS arbitration process. While Annex 3 is more "thrifty" thanUNCLOS, it is technically difficult in comparison.

Uruguay said that while the RNT is acceptable, paragraph 44,requiring all States to cooperate to prevent disputes and settledisputes by negotiation or peaceful means, should be brought intoline with UNCLOS. Paragraph 45 should include a binding andcompulsory procedure. The EU supported the US, but said the RNTshould not move beyond the balance of UNCLOS.

Peru agreed with Uruguay, but disagreed with Japan, over paragraph50 requiring dispute settlement provisions to be consistent withUNCLOS. Canada said the lack of a compulsory and binding disputesettlement mechanism is a hindrance to solving disputes. TheSolomon Islands, supported by the Cook Islands, said some referenceshould be made to Part XV of UNCLOS, which deals with settlement ofdisputes, and strongly supported the retention of paragraph 50.Poland accepted the dispute mechanism provisions and endorsed theJapanese proposal. The Russian Federation said the main objectiveof Section VIII is the quick settlement of disputes by peacefulmeans.

SECTION IX -- SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OF DEVELOPING STATES

Mexico spoke of the importance of this section for developingcountries. Balance is needed so the text does not focus solely onthe principle of obligation, but meets the requirements of thedeveloping countries for sustainable utilization of theirresources. Indonesia supported Mexico and said that paragraph 54should grant developing countries favorable access to high seasfisheries. The new text should include provisions to enabledeveloping countries to acquire fleets and participate in high seasfishing. Kiribati and other Pacific States said the RNT is nowbalanced and recognizes the sovereign rights of coastal States toexploit and conserve their marine resources, as these are sourcesof protein, employment and foreign exchange earnings. India saidthe precautionary approach developed in Section III.3.B.4 willincur heavy burdens on the developing countries unless there isadequate international assistance from the UN and its specializedagencies.

The EU said it maintained a policy of cooperation in fisheries withdeveloping countries and major resources are devoted to it, butdeveloping countries must fulfill their requirements inconservation and management.

China urged the international community to provide scientific andtechnological support to developing countries to improve thesustainable utilization of sea fisheries and aquaculture. Thailandspoke for an agreed repository to collect data and information,accessible by developing countries. Sweden suggested an amendmentto paragraph 51, calling for new and additional resources to beprovided through the GEF and CSD.

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers called forinternational monitoring of foreign fleets entering coastal Stateswaters, causing resource and access difficulties for artisanal andtraditional fishers.

SECTION X -- REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES

The EU, supported by Korea and Sweden, said that the FAO is theorganization best prepared to deal with the reports in paragraph57. The US, supported by New Zealand, said that he would be happyto see annual reporting. He also stated, regarding paragraph 58,that a full review of the implementation of these importantprinciples should occur three years from the date of adoption ofthis text. Peru said that under paragraph 57, reports should besent to both FAO and the General Assembly, since FAO is only atechnical body and cannot take further action if compliance islacking. New Zealand said a legally-binding instrument would notobviate the need for a review conference. The Solomon Islands andAustralia supported the RNT as it stands. The Russian Federationsaid that FAO should not have to do all of the work. Canada,supported by Uruguay, Morocco and Poland, expressed a reservationwith the first sentence of paragraph 57. Sweden favored retentionof reporting to the CSD.

ANNEX 1 -- MINIMUM STANDARD FOR DATA REQUIREMENTS

Japan said it could agree to the purpose of this text, but askedthat regional organizations specify the particular data to collect,since each region has different characteristics. The EU agreed.Japan said that for practical purposes, all the information thatwould apply worldwide need not be specified here. The data shouldbe set in terms of standards and examples, but not of minima.Brazil said that these amendments were too radical and should havebeen tabled earlier. Australia, supported by New Zealand, Fiji andMicronesia, said she understood Japan's concerns, but thought thatthe RNT was sufficiently flexible. Peru concurred, as did Papua NewGuinea, who supported even stronger requirements.

Japan, Poland, Korea and the EU argued that data should becollected both from the high seas and the exclusive zones. He addedthat it should also be clear from the beginning of Annex 1 that thecollection of data will occur within the framework of the regionalorganizations.

Japan said that the data need not necessarily be reported on avessel-by-vessel basis but may be aggregated for reasons ofconfidentiality. India and Mexico agreed. He also suggested thatparagraph 7, on the information that is available through othermeans, be deleted. Indonesia argued that it should be retained andreinforced so that it does not appear to be so permissive.

With regard to the graphic flows of data contained in paragraph 12,the flow from flag State to coastal State should be through theregional organization that will then, on request, forward theinformation to the coastal States that are party to thearrangement. Norway said that the flow should be through thecoastal States' national fisheries administrations, as the increasein joint ventures makes collection difficult. The Chair said thatthe chart merely depicts the flow of data and is based on legalfishing. The flow of data to the coastal States in the absence ofa regional organization still needs to be addressed.

India said that the requirements should be commensurate with thelimited financial resources of developing States.

ANNEX 2 -- GUIDELINES FOR APPLYING PRECAUTIONARY REFERENCE POINTS

The Chair said that this is an important part of the agreement butthat the topic can lend itself to further consultation. The textemanated from the report of the Working Group and needs furtherclarification. Peru hoped that the next text submitted would be adraft convention, but the EU disagreed. India, Indonesia and theChair himself admitted that they did not understand fully some ofthe provisions of Annex 2.

DRAFT AGREEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The 31-page revised text, the Draft Agreement for theImplementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Conventionon the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to theConservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and HighlyMigratory Fish Stocks, contains a Preamble, 47 articles in 13parts, and three annexes.

The Preamble, following the Chair's desire to maintain conformitywith the preamble of UNCLOS, is short and concise. It recalls theprinciples of UNCLOS, notes the need to improve cooperation betweencoastal States and flag States, calls for more effectiveenforcement by flag, port and coastal States of the measuresadopted for the conservation and management of straddling andhighly migratory fish stocks, while seeking to address the problemsspecifically identified in Agenda 21, Chapter 17, Programme Area C,and commits States Parties to responsible fishing. Absent is anyreference to the FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance withInternational Conservation and Management Measures by FishingVessels on the High Seas.

PART I -- GENERAL PROVISIONS: Article 1 defines the terms usedwithin the Draft Agreement and its scope. Article 2, the objective,is refined and adapted from Ecuador's proposal (A/CONF.164/L.44*).Article 3, dealing with application, prescribes separateapplicability for the high seas and the EEZ. Article 4 underlinesthe fact that nothing in the Draft Agreement prejudices theprovisions of UNCLOS.

PART II -- CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKSAND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS: Article 5 obligates coastalStates and States fishing on the high seas to cooperate inaccordance with UNCLOS and requires application of theprecautionary approach. It also requires the adoption ofconservation and management measures to ensure long-termsustainability of stocks as well as requiring the adoption ofconservation and management measures for non-target species withinthe same ecosystem. In addition, it promotes the development anduse of selective and environmentally-safe fishing gear andtechniques to minimize pollution, waste and discards. Theapplication of the precautionary approach in Article 6 is diluted.Article 6 explicitly refers to Annex 2 dealing with "suggestedguidelines for application of precautionary reference points inconservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highlymigratory fish stocks." Missing is any reference to specific andcritical environmental problems faced by international fisheriesworldwide, such as toxic pollution and ozone depletion.

Article 7 on compatibility of conservation and management measures,if maintained as part of a binding agreement, will require coastalStates and States fishing on the high seas to cooperate to achievecompatible management and conservation measures for the high seasand the EEZs. The concept of "biological unity" is retained.

PART III -- MECHANISMS FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CONCERNINGSTRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS: Ninearticles constitute this Part, with four dealing specifically withcooperation for conservation and management, regional fisheriesmanagement organizations or arrangements and their functions, andcooperation to strengthen existing arrangements. Article 12, on thecollection and provision of information, requires fishing vesselsto provide information and that States cooperate directly throughregional organizations and arrangements. Article 13, on enclosedand semi-enclosed seas, requires States to comply with Article123(a) of UNCLOS, while Article 14 is new text that recognizes theparticular problems and issues raised by the Russian Federation.Both articles are to be read in conjunction with Part VII dealingwith dispute settlement procedures.

PART IV -- DUTIES OF THE FLAG STATE: Article 17 deals withthe duties of the flag State and the measures to ensure thatvessels flying its flag comply with subregional and regionalconservation and management measures.

PART V -- COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: The three articles inthis Part, deal with compliance and enforcement by the flag State,international cooperation in enforcement, and regional agreementsand arrangements for compliance and enforcement. Part V representsa consolidation of ideas expressed during consideration of the RNT.

PART VI -- PORT STATE ENFORCEMENT: Article 21 reflects theconsiderable discussion on this subject and represents a clearerdefinition of what is attainable under the provisions ofinternational law.

PART VII -- REQUIREMENTS OF DEVELOPING STATES: This Partcontains three articles and represents the Chair's desire tocluster all matters concerning developing States. Article 24 spellsout the requirement of States to cooperate to establish voluntaryfunds to assist developing States. States, and international andregional organizations, "should" assist developing States inestablishing new organizations or strengthening existingorganizations and arrangements.

PART VIII -- PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES: The sevenarticles in this Part recognize the provisions of UNCLOS given itsimminent entry into force. Article 30, however, presents aninnovation by affording States the capacity to introduceprovisional measures of a practical nature, pending the resolutionof a dispute. It is referred back to in Annex 3 that deals withArbitration Procedures. Article 31 establishes that the provisionsfor the settlement of disputes do not affect the provisions ofArticle 297 of UNCLOS.

PART IX -- NON-PARTICIPANTS: Article 32 refines the RNTversion and deals with non-participants in subregional or regionalfisheries management organizations or arrangements.

PART X -- ABUSE OF RIGHTS: Article 33 requires States tofulfill, in good faith, the obligations of the Draft Agreement ina manner consistent with UNCLOS.

PART XI -- NON-PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT: This Part requiresStates, under Article 33, to encourage non-parties to accede to theDraft Agreement.

PART XII -- REPORTS ON IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW CONFERENCE:Articles deal with the reports on the implementation of the DraftAgreement and require that such reports be made to theSecretary-General. Following the adoption of the agreement, andbiennially thereafter, the Secretary-General shall submit a reportto the General Assembly. A review conference shall be held fouryears after adoption of the Draft Agreement, with the participationof all States and entities entitled to become parties, as well asobservers.

PART XIII -- FINAL PROVISIONS: Eleven articles make up thisPart. Article 40 specifies that the Draft Agreement will enter intoforce 30 days after the date of deposit of the 40th instrument ofratification, acceptance, approval or accession. This procedurefollows that of the recently-adopted agreement on Part XI ofUNCLOS.

Annex 1 on the "Minimum Standard for Collection and Sharing ofData" reflects some of the debate on this Annex in the RNT. Sharingof data by flag States with other flag States and relevant coastalStates is a requirement. The graphic data flow arrangements remainthe same as those in the RNT.

Annex 2 on "Suggested Guidelines for Application of PrecautionaryReference Points," while expanded upon, dilutes the benefits thatwould be attainable by implementing biological reference points andmanagement reference points. Rather, it suggests that they might beintroduced, and no reference is made in the Annex to the concept of"biological unity."

Annex 3 on the "Arbitration Procedure" is made up of 15 articlesproviding for the expeditious resolution of fisheries disputes.

REACTIONS TO THE DRAFT AGREEMENT

The Chair convened the Plenary on Thursday to offer delegates theopportunity to present general statements on the text of his draftagreement (the "Draft Agreement").

Peru said that the Draft Agreement is the first step towards trulyeffective conservation and management of the marine livingresources. Not included in the Draft Agreement are emergencysituations that would allow adopting immediate measures to ensurethe conservation of fish stocks, and there is no provision enablingStates to prohibit unloading of catches

The EU stated that a binding instrument may have advantages, yetprocedures can be time-consuming, especially on controversialmatters. The concept of biological unity and compatibility ofconservation and management measures remain crucial, in order toavoid setting double standards. The Conference should take count ofits achievements, especially, in the context of the FAO ComplianceAgreement.

Chile said that the scope of application should refer to straddlingand highly migratory fish stocks located on the high seas,particularly in areas adjacent to the EEZ. Conservation andmanagement measures of those that apply to the coastal State withinthe EEZ should be taken with the consent of that State. Thebiological unity within the range of the stocks must be recognized.Only a legally-binding convention will achieve effectiveimplementation.

Brazil stated that the present text may not have provisions thatwere present in the Chair's Revised Negotiating Text. He said thata more substantive role for the coastal State has to be defined inthis text. Future negotiations within regional organizations willallow for a political margin.

Indonesia supported Peru, Chile and Brazil on two major points: theDraft Agreement should not detract from the powers of the coastalState in its own EEZ and coastal States have specific interests inthe conservation and management of the high seas adjacent to theirEEZ.

Argentina said that he appreciated the format of a convention andthe fact that the text is shorter, clearer and does not haveexcessive details. Valuable ideas that appeared in the RNT havedisappeared, and he supported suggestions made by Peru and Chile.A clause on provisional application of the agreement, similar tothat in the Agreement on the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS,should be added.

Korea stated that conservation and management of the stocksconcerned should not be confined to the high seas, but extend tosea areas under national jurisdiction. He did not feel thatconsensus had been reached on the binding form of the document.

India supported Argentina and other Latin American speakers. TheDraft Agreement should preserve the sovereign rights of the coastalStates in the EEZ. Secondly, coastal States have a special interestin fisheries in the high seas adjoining their coast. Thirdly,conservation and management measures should be applicableby-and-large to the stocks in question.

The Russian Federation said the draft is a good basis forcontinuing work. In the future work of the Conference, it isimportant to focus on efforts ensuring the implementation ofenforcement measures. In the application of the precautionaryapproach, a mechanism for interim measures should be provided forstocks being depleted seriously. Regarding conservation measures,he stated that an ecological approach is beneficial, and that thefocus should be on strengthening this approach.

Japan said that the text was more balanced, but added that furtherrevisions are needed. It should be reviewed in terms of structure,content and wording. He supported Korea and said that there is noconsensus reached yet on the question of form. Each coastal Stateand distant water fishing State must study the relationship andconsistency of the document with UNCLOS, other treaty obligationsand domestic legislative systems.

Mexico said he agreed with Peru, Chile and Argentina and supportedBrazil's view that the negotiation should be on technical aspectsand not on the political factors. The chapter on the participationof the developing countries ought to be strengthened, and financialmechanisms that do not involve the Voluntary Fund should also beput in place.

Poland said that he did not expect to deal with the text of abinding draft agreement. He added that the mandate of thisConference should apply strictly to straddling and highly migratoryfish stocks throughout their range and not in just one area. Thenotion of biological unity should be clarified, and the right ofthe coastal States to arrest and detain vessels on the high seasrevisited, as would be the right of port States vis-…-visforeign vessels.

Iceland welcomed the form of a full-fledged convention and saidthat the draft reflected a constructive basis for compromise ofviews at this and previous sessions. He expressed concern that therights of the coastal States in their own EEZs were not reflected.

Australia, speaking on behalf of the South Pacific Forum FisheriesAgency, said that the text appeared well-balanced and was a soundbasis for further negotiations toward a strong and binding outcome.He said, however, that the balance of the RNT had been altered withregard to the compatibility of measures on the high seas and in theEEZs.

Senegal said that the new text touches on the responsibilities ofall the States involved, but still needs to be improved so thatthere are no loopholes. The application of the measures on the highseas should be more strict and the rights of the coastal States intheir EEZ should be more protected.

China said that no consensus has emerged on whether the outcome ofthis Conference should be a legally-binding document. He alsoexpressed concern over the provisions that deal with the issues ofenforcement on the high seas, the abuse of rights on the high seas,the principles to be followed when new organizations are set up,and the relationship between this document, UNCLOS and FAOdocuments.

Ecuador said that in order to be acceptable, the draft should havea better balance between the various interests at stake. He agreedwith several Latin American States and the Russian Federation onthe issues of the norms of application, dispute settlement and portState jurisdiction.

Norway expressed the same concern over the balance of interests,which tilts too much in favor of distant water fishing States. Thequestion of enclosed and semi-enclosed areas and the criteria fornew entrants to regional organizations also need to be looked into.

Uruguay said that the draft legally-binding document is the mainsuccess of this session, as its objective is the conservation andsustainable use of stocks, pursuant to the implementation ofUNCLOS. He said that Article 3 on application should not affect therights of coastal States in their EEZs and added that the adoptionof provisional measures by the coastal States should be permitted.

Canada said that the laissez-faire practices of the past donot work and we need a binding convention that has teeth. He alsonoted that the word "compromise" was hardly ever heard and that theissue of the rights of coastal States in the EEZ has been solvedand should not be reopened.

The Philippines said that like "ambrosia from Olympus," the fishare no longer there, as the species have been harvested to thepoint of exhaustion. The Heads of State in Rio recognized thatStates are bound morally and politically to cooperate.

Kenya said he appreciated the balance of the text and that heremained convinced that the goals of conservation and managementwould be attained. He also suggested that an annex be added todefine and list straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.

Morocco associated himself with those who expressed the wish to seemore explicit rights for the coastal States, as reflected inUNCLOS.

Mauritania said that as a coastal State that depends on fishing,his country hopes that the delegates will be able to take practicaland binding measures, but that this effort is complementary toUNCLOS and should not undermine it. He said that particularemphasis should be placed on the needs of developing countries sothat they are able to fish on the high seas as well.

Speaking on behalf of the Canadian Oceans Caucus, therepresentative of the United Nations Association of Canada askedthat reference to marine conservation areas be highlighted in thetext. These areas have been set up in the EEZs of New Zealand, theNetherlands and the UK. They protect ecosystems and promotebiological diversity.

The Chair said that he felt this was a useful exchange of views andthat it would serve as a good basis for negotiation in the nextsession.

DISCUSSION ON THE FINAL OUTCOME OF THE CONFERENCE

The Chair reflected on the question of form at the end of the firstweek of this session. He said that informal consultations withdelegates remained incomplete and would continue, as somedelegations feel that the development of content and form shouldproceed together.

Australia made a general statement on behalf of the 16 memberStates of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (SPFFA) on theform of the Conference's final outcome. Members of the SPFFA remainunited in their resolve to achieve a strong and substantial outcomefrom the Conference and feel that substantial progress had beenmade towards reaching agreement on problems that seemedunresolvable 12 months ago; however, it is necessary to reach aconsensus on the form. A legally-binding outcome must contain fouressential elements: international standards to achieve thelong-term sustainability of the stocks; consistency with UNCLOSpreserving the rights of coastal States, while maintainingflexibility to allow cooperation and conservation between coastalStates and distant water fishing States; strong, detailed andmeaningful provisions relating to flag State responsibility andeffective mechanisms for compliance and enforcement and; agreementon the timely collection and exchange of data. The SPFFA memberStates do not have the human or financial resources to engage inprotracted negotiation and he urged all delegations, especiallydistant water fishing States, to work to finalize a legally-bindingagreement as soon as possible.

Canada welcomed the Australian statement. The delegate from Indiasaid he was prepared to support a convention, provided thatarrangements could be found to accommodate exploitation of highseas fish stocks by developing States. The Japanese delegate saidhis position remained unchanged because consensus had not beenreached on the form. The EU delegate expressed sympathy with theSPFFA, but said that consensus on the substance is required or theform will not be secured.

CLOSING PLENARY SESSION

The Chair opened the closing Plenary of the Conference, saying thatthis session had been short but productive. He was encouraged bythe dedicated and constructive approach with which all delegationsworked towards the goal set for the Conference -- to find practicaland effective means to ensure the long-term conservation andsustainable use of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.

In accordance with its mandate, during its first substantivesession the Conference identified the issues it was to address. Atits second and third sessions, the Conference considered thesubstantive responses to the problems relating to conservation andmanagement of the two types of fish stocks. During this session,while continuing to address the substantive matters, the Conferencereached a stage where form and substance had to be broughttogether. This was an important and necessary step if progress wasto be made on a number of key issues that could not otherwise beaddressed in an acceptable manner.

Based on the discussions and proposals made in the Plenary duringthe review of A/CONF.164/13/Rev.1, the Chair's Revised NegotiatingText ("RNT") during the first week of this session, and on thebasis of his informal exchanges with many delegations, and buildingon the intersessional consultations that he attended, the Chairrevised and reformatted the RNT.

The new form of this text is contained in document A/CONF.164/22and is entitled the "Draft Agreement for the Implementation of theProvisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seaof 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management ofStraddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks" (the"Draft Agreement"). He said that this new form is based on hissense that there is a widespread and substantial view in theConference that a legally-binding outcome is essential to achievethe goal of effective conservation and management of the two typesof fish stocks. He stated that with further work to improve anddevelop its content, the Draft Agreement would respond to theconcerns of the international community as expressed in the RioDeclaration and Chapter 17 of Agenda 21, as well as the resolutionsof the General Assembly concerning the problems relating to theconservation and management of the world's fisheries.

The Draft Agreement responds to these concerns in the followingmanner: (1) it establishes detailed minimum international standardsfor the conservation and management of the two types of stocks; (2)it ensures that the measures taken for the conservation andmanagement of those resources in areas under national jurisdictionand in the adjacent high seas areas are compatible and coherent;(3) it ensures that there are effective mechanisms for complianceand enforcement of those measures on the high seas; (4) it providesfor a globally-agreed framework for regional cooperation in thefield of fisheries conservation and management consistent with thesituation prevailing in each region, as envisaged in the 1982 UNConvention on the Law of the Sea; (5) it recognizes the specialrequirements of developing States in relation to conservation andmanagement as well as development of and participation in fisheriesfor the two types of stocks; and (6) it provides for the peacefulsettlement of disputes relating to fisheries matters throughcompulsory and binding dispute settlement mechanisms, which alsoensure flexibility for the parties to use the procedure of theirchoice for the settlement of such disputes.

He said that while there is no consensus at this time on thequestion of form of the outcome of this Conference, he isencouraged that the Conference has decided to use the DraftAgreement as a basis for its future work.

In looking ahead at the programme of work, he said that the Bureauhas concluded that two further sessions of the Conference arenecessary in 1995 in order to conclude its work. The first sessionshould be devoted to the consideration of the substantive mattersbefore the Conference, with a view to concluding negotiations atthe end of that session, and last for three weeks.

The second two-week meeting should be the final session of theConference. The first week will be devoted to the concordance andharmonization of the text in all languages with a view to arrivingat a final text. The second week will be devoted to theconsideration of the Final Act of the Conference and thepreparation of the authentic text of the Agreement so that theFinal Act and the Agreement can be adopted at the end of that week.

The Secretariat advised the Chair that conference servicingfacilities are available at UN Headquarters in New York for the twosessions from 27 March to 12 April 1995 for the first session, and24 July to 4 August 1995 for the second session. This is based onthe determination that the Conference must conclude its work assoon as possible and no later than 1995.

The Chair encouraged delegations to undertake intersessionalconsultations in order to facilitate negotiations and help achieveagreement at the next session of the Conference. He said he willcontinue to liaise and consult with delegations, as appropriate,over the coming months. In order to maintain transparency and flowof information to all delegations and observers, he will report tothe Conference at the next session on any developments resultingfrom such intersessional consultations. After closing statements bya number of delegatons, Nandan gavelled the session to a close.

INFORMAL FAO/US WORKSHOP

During the session, the US hosted an informal workshop on the FAOCompliance Agreement. The US supported the agreement and describedit as part of the overall mosaic of high seas fisheriesconservation and management measures that should be taken incontext with UNCLOS and this Conference. The agreement applies toall living marine species, including anadromous stocks and whales.It establishes specific obligations on flag States, includingvessel marking and enforcement action to prevent underminingconservation and management measures on the high seas. Theagreement leaves unaddressed the standards to be followed foradopting conservation and management measures, the responsibilitiesof non-flag States and trans-shipping issues. The South Pacificgroup said the 24-meter vessel exemption is hard to administer andtrans-shipping was highlighted by developing coastal States as aserious omission. The FAO has received three instruments ofratification and anticipates the agreement's entry into force in1995.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE CONFERENCE

The widespread feeling at the end of the March session was thatwhile all the participants agreed on the gravity of the situation,States were not yet willing to face the costs of a compromise, andthis was reflected by the diametrically opposed views of distantwater fishing States and coastal States. Many had also felt thattoo much of the process was behind closed doors and, in thisrespect, appeared as a step back from Rio. At the end of this thirdsubstantive session, however, this Conference has taken a new turnand appears closer to success than ever before, and the Chair'stactics appear to have paid off. Significant changes in attitudewere noted on the part of distant water fishing States (DWFS), suchas Korea, Japan and the EU, while coastal States, like Canada, havealso taken a much more conciliatory approach.

This is most apparent in the form and substance of the Chair'sfinal negotiating text, which may appear in the form of alegally-binding agreement, but nonetheless reflects widely on theinterests of both DWFS and coastal States. Notwithstanding the"posturing" speeches of the last two days of this session, the newtext was relatively well received because it appears to embed thenecessary compromises. While both sides would rather see their owninterests prevail, they are now fairly conscious that they have towork with the other side if they are to avoid a possible exhaustionof straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.

The strengths of the two dominant caucus groups, the Like-Mindedgroup, and its influential core group (Argentina, Canada, Chile,Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Peru), and the South Pacific ForumFisheries Agency (SPFFA) remained in strong evidence throughoutthis session. Their strengths are derived from the individual, andin some instances collective, problems that arise from theindiscriminate actions of DWFS. Their blatant disregard forconservation and management measures is apparent as their vesselscontinue to decimate straddling and highly migratory fishresources. The coastal States remain united in seeking a permanentsolution to poaching, depredatory and illegal fishing practices inthe form of a legally-binding agreement. Australia, on behalf ofthe 16 member States of the SPFFA, unequivocally underlined this ina mid-week intervention as delegates wrestled with the RNT. Seekingdiscussion on form, Australia's intervention met with support fromother coastal States.

The Like-Minded core group has consistently argued for alegally-binding agreement, supported by draft conventions submittedin documents A/CONF.164/L.11 and A/CONF.164/13/ Rev.1 and supportedby Ecuador in document A/CONF.164/L.44. The translation of theChair's revised RNT into a Draft Agreement augurs well for thoseaffected coastal States.

Nine weeks of negotiation and debate have all too frequentlyclouded the real strength that can be secured from alegally-binding convention: that of replenishment of fish stocks.The constituent parts of biomass replenishment are built not onlyinto the legally-binding nature of the draft agreement, but alsointo its components on dispute settlement, compatibility andcoherence, and the compulsory dissemination of collected data toother parties. Only comprehensive data collection and itsaggregated assessment can provide for the consistency of timelyoutputs in the form of maximum allowable fishing effort without thedestruction of future stocks of fish.

The best way to evaluate the outcome of this session is to look atthe latest version of the Chair's text through the use of a classicmarketing framework -- the SWOT analysis, which identifiesstrengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

STRENGTHS: A redeeming strength of the Draft Agreement isthat it provides teeth for the regional and subregionalorganizations and arrangements. The Draft Agreement not onlystrengthens the provisions of UNCLOS, especially Part VII, butbegins to reward, after more than 12 years of frustration, coastalStates that registered dissatisfaction with the straddling stocksprovisions of UNCLOS. This is also important for the DWFS that havelong argued that general principles should be avoided and that thedecisions are better left to the regional and subregionalorganizations and arrangements. If minimum standards are set up inthe Draft Agreement, the regional organizations will be bound to aseries of measures to achieve the sustainable development of thestocks, but they will also have the latitude to adopt morestringent standards. This will only be possible through a frank anddirect cooperation among all those involved. As Sweden rightlyhighlighted, this will not necessarily be limited to those Statesfishing on the high seas (both DWFS and coastal States), but alsoall those who have an interest in the stocks, even if it is not afishing interest. This approach will put an end to a situationwhere only the industry is represented in the organizations andtended to privilege its short term interest, sometimes to thedetriment of the stocks conservation in the long term.

WEAKNESSES: The greatest weakness of this agreement is that,like any legally-binding instrument, it will only bind those Statesthat have become party to it. This was clearly understood by theChair who waited as long as possible before he issued his text inthis form. The distant water fishing States themselves have arguedthat it would be premature to envisage such an instrument as longas there was no consensus on the substance. This is similar toUNCLOS before Part XI was amended. Sixty-four States had ratifiedthe Convention and it was about to enter into force, but the Statesmost concerned with the provisions on deep seabed mining -- theindustrialized nations -- had set up their own parallel agreement.The Draft Agreement can only be strong if it has garnered thecooperation of the DWFS.

While the legal framework of an agreement may be falling intoplace, there still remains a degree of unwillingness to address allof the biological characteristics and influences on the ecosystem.Industrial toxic waste into the food chain and the consequences ofozone depletion on small marine organisms and the natural habitatsof coral reefs and mangrove swamps remain unaddressed. Conservationand management measures that fail to address the concept ofecosystem management will likely cause unnecessary and complicatedmanagement problems in the immediate future. Anything less than aholistic approach to the conservation and management of straddlingand highly migratory fish stocks is a visible weakness in the draftagreement and represents a collective failure of all delegates toaddress once and for all the interdependence of marine species.

OPPORTUNITIES: The draft agreement represents new andenhanced opportunities for developing States to secure privilegedaccess to the resources of the high seas. Yet a failing by thoseStates to accept the limitations of the resource in terms of newaccess and harvesting potentials will breed greater dissatisfactionin the longer term than it will generate in short-term proteinsecurity and economic stability. Opportunities generate costs and,in the first instance, these will be borne by the DWFS as theybegin a process of enhanced technology transfer to the developingcoastal States. A second cost will be an obligation on DWFS toforgo free access to high seas fisheries, and to instead pay apremium for the right to fish. This premium, or license feearrangement, should generate finances to assist the regional andsubregional arrangements and organizations to implement moreeffective enforcement and surveillance, and will also improveconservation and management measures through compatible managing ofdata both within national jurisdiction and in the adjacent highseas area. These aspects of fisheries management combine to provideeffective "integrated" fisheries management measures that recognizeits constituent parts: comprehensiveness, aggregation andconsistency.

Building up finances through the Voluntary Fund will give theregional and subregional arrangements and organizations funds withwhich to add teeth to their institutional structures, which in thepast have been much criticized for ineffective and poor management.The opportunity to empower these institutions will be welcomed andassist in the de-centralization of the FAO's bureaucraticstructures to the regional structures where expertise, effort andmoney are desperately needed.

There is a global over-capacity of fishing vessels. Much of thisover-capacity has been driven by excessive subsidization of thefleets by developed States within their own individual nationalfishing associations. The European Union currently suffers fromextensive over-capacity and this was well illustrated recentlyduring conflicts over access to albacore tuna stocks in the Bay ofBiscay. Reduction in over-capacity is a taxing problem for nationalgovernments because the issue is a highly emotional political one.Governments invariably have difficulty in finding the financialresources to enter into a meaningful "buy-back" scheme and, moreoften than not, refuse to pay the political cost of adoptingdesperately needed restructuring measures. Opportunities will existfor developed States to displace some of their excess capacity tothe developing coastal States and, thus, prevent an escalation ofa massive building programme in technology transfer arrangements.

THREATS: The earlier rhetoric, repeated frequently, betweenthe distant water fishing States and the coastal States wasnoticeably reduced during this session, with the EU's shift to amore moderate position. But one should not disregard the potentialthreats by both parties. As far as the distant water fishing Statesare concerned, the promotion of a legally-binding agreement willtake them into a position similar to the one they were in at thetime of the emergence of the EEZ concept, when their fleets weredisplaced throughout the oceans and the concept of "pulse" fishingabounded. Some capacity for joint venture arrangements continuedthroughout the late 1970s and 1980s, but when national fishingfleets were developed, foreign flagged vessels became displaced. Arenewed displacement can be expected as a consequence of alegally-binding agreement, and this is what concerns the DWFS most.They also express the legitimate concern that developing coastalStates need to do more to enhance national conservation andmanagement measures. However, the threat of actions that thedistant water fishing States can take is now a declining one,because failure on their part to move with the progression of theDraft Agreement will reflect poorly on their future access toregional and subregional organizations and arrangements. New accessfor the developing coastal States to the high seas will alsorequire the introduction of new structures to ensure their accessto markets.

The threats by the coastal States, while more of an implied naturein this session, tend to be stated more aggressively by the LatinAmerican coastal States. Their trump card is that of unilateral EEZextension should the Draft Agreement not attain consensus support.

The previously moderate position of the US is now clear and isbased on undeniable support for a legally-binding agreement. TheUS, regarded as both a coastal State and a distant water fishingState, can massage the progression of a binding agreement as itsexplicit support will help stem the more aggressive coastal Statesfrom stepping outside the boundaries of UNCLOS. Some coastal Statescomplain that any agreement that provides for the exchange of datafrom the EEZ to a supra-national body, such as a regionalcommission, undermines the sovereignty or the strategic interestsof the coastal State. Greater willingness needs to be shown by somecoastal States in this regard or transparency in decision-makingwill remain unattainable.

One threat that remains outside the confines of this Conference isthe non-State status of Taiwan, whose vast deep sea fishing fleetcapacity continues to roam the oceans with flagrant disregard forconservation and management practices. Taiwan's slow acceptance ofthe UN Driftnet Ban does not augur well, in the short term, for anylegally-binding agreement. Illegal fishing practices and poachingare extensively catalogued in current Taiwanese fishing practices.A number of delegations have made reference to such activities andsome have stimulated the legal provisions of UNCLOS by apprehendingvessels in "hot pursuit" initiatives. Meanwhile, China continueswith the development of its distant water fishing fleet as itstrives to meet a goal of 20 million tons of harvest from the seasby the year 2000.

The remaining threat, which is slowly being addressed throughbilateral arrangements, and was recently highlighted throughsuccessful arrests in the North Atlantic Fisheries Organizationarea, is the influence of flag of convenience (FOC) registers. Thedisplacement or reduction of FOC registers not only will affect thetraditional registers, such as those of Panama, Honduras andLiberia, but will also affect the growth of such registers indeveloping coastal States that are also flag States, such as theCook Islands and Vanuatu. A reduction of fishing vessel registerswith the FOC States will require a quid pro quo to providean alternative source of funds to ease the economic burdens andhardships that will naturally follow.

CONCLUSION: After three sessions of negotiation, the Chairhas finally revealed what he had in mind in terms of form of theoutcome: an agreement to complement UNCLOS. Only half-seriously,the Russian Federation said that Russians believe in the HolyTrinity and added that, since Nandan has already produced two"papers" related to UNCLOS, he wondered what the third one wouldcover. This statement may have been delivered rather flippantly,but it may nonetheless reflect on likely developments on the Law ofthe Sea. Because it was of such global dimension, UNCLOS has lefta number of issues that still need to be resolved among interestedparties. The two precedents that Nandan has set in the "Boat Paper"(the UNCLOS Part XI Agreement on deep seabed mining), and now inthe "Fish Paper" (the Draft Agreement), are symptomatic of the needfor the parties to cut through the endless rhetorical debates andfinally reach a viable agreement acceptable to all. It will beinteresting to see what issues will be tackled next and whetherthis apparently successful approach will be reproduced.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN THE INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD

INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONSULTATIONS: Informal consultationsbetween the two main caucus groups, the Like-Minded core group andthe South Pacific Forum Fisheries Group, are expected to continueas States reflect on the Draft Agreement. These informalconsultations are likely to be devoid of NGO participation, perhapswith the exception of the US and Canada, who each maintain two NGOson their delegations. Encouraging statements directed to the NGOsfrom the US delegation will likely provide enhanced opportunity forNGOs to better reflect their environmental concerns.

NGO ACTIVITIES: NGOs are expected to continue in theirconsultations with the FAO, especially on the Code of Conduct,during the intersessional period. Substantial progress has beenmade on the procedural arrangements for the admission of new NGOsto the FAO structure, following several roundtable meetings withthe FAO's Dr. Krone during this session.

NGOs will also continue to formulate their responses to the Chair'sDraft Agreement. No structured workshops or roundtables have beenscheduled.

FAO CONSULTATIONS ON CODE OF CONDUCT FOR RESPONSIBLEFISHING: The next steps in continuing the preparation of theCode include a Technical Consultation to be held in Rome from 26September to 5 October 1994. Participants will include FAO members,non-members, international organizations and NGOs, who willthoroughly review the draft Code prior to its submission to theCOFI meeting to be held in March 1995. If the TechnicalConsultation deems necessary, the Secretariat draft will becirculated for comments prior to the March session of COFI, inorder to facilitate endorsement. After further preparation, thedraft Code will be presented at the FAO Council in June 1995 and tothe FAO Conference in November 1995.

Guidelines in support of the implementation of the respectivethematic chapters of the Code are being prepared and will besubject to reviews and discussions by international experts intheir respective fields in 1995. These guidelines are not intendedto be submitted to a formal approval process.

SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS: The International Council forExploration of the Seas (ICES) will hold its 82nd Annual Scienceconference in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, from 22-30 September1994. While ICES primarily addresses issues of biological marinescience, some reflection on the reports of the Working Groups onPrecautionary Approach, Biological Reference Points and ManagementPoints is probable. Thematic sessions include: non-target species;pelagic fish and plankton interactions in marine ecosystems; andimproving the link between fisheries science and management ofbiological, social and economic considerations. Look for enhancedreference to aspects of toxic substances in the ecosystem.

Coastal Zone Canada '94 will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from20-23 September 1994. Continuing in the tradition of the EarthSummit and the World Coast Conference held in Noordwijk, TheNetherlands, in 1993, this international conference will considerall issues relating to integrated coastal management. These issuesinclude the loss of natural habitats, land reclamation,contamination, eutrophication, flotsam, chemical contaminants inthe hydrological system and industrial emissions of toxic particlesinto the oceans. The Conference is supported by UNEP, IMO and theCommonwealth Secretariat, among others. Look for development of themarine conservation areas concept and furtherance of the HalifaxDeclaration issued in May 1994.

UNCLOS: On 16 November 1994, the United Nations Conventionon the Law of the Sea will come into force. From 16-18 November,the ceremonial session of the Assembly of the Sea Bed Authoritywill be held in Kingston, Jamaica. On 21-22 November, the AdHoc Meeting of State Parties to the Convention will meet in NewYork to discuss arrangements to set up the International Tribunalon the Law of the Sea. It is expected that the election of thejudges to the Tribunal, which was due to take place in May 1995,will be postponed. The first substantive session of the Assembly ofthe Sea Bed Authority will convene in Jamaica for three weeks from27 February - 17 March 1995.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: During the 49th Session of the UNGeneral Assembly, the Second Committee will review the report ofthis Conference and the General Assembly is then expected to extendthe mandate until August 1995. In early December, the GeneralAssembly will examine the yearly report on UNCLOS.

Participants

Negotiating blocs
African Union
European Union
Non-state coalitions
NGOs

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