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Document A/CONF.164/10 set out the parameters for this discussion, specifically what should be the responsibilities of regional organizations or other regional arrangements concerning the two types of fish stocks. The US said that regional organizations should emphasize a multi-species ecosystem approach and take into account the relationship between species and habitats. The Philippines, the US and the EC agreed that regional fishery organizations should promote information collection and dissemination that could strengthen resource management. Trinidad and Tobago said there should be a mechanism to facilitate exchange of information between commissions, perhaps with FAO assistance. India mentioned the need to provide assistance to developing States entering the fisheries.

Solomon Islands, on behalf of the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, said that although the FFA supports efforts to cooperate in the management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, many of these bodies have not been successful due to: inadequate information for decision making; competition; disagreement among members; domination of developed over developing countries; poor enforcement measures; failure to adapt the institutional frameworks to the geographic circumstances in each region; and lack of commitment to precise management approaches.

Iceland made the following points: there should be general obligations for regional and subregional cooperation, tailored to the individual region; and where there are no existing measures, coastal States and distant water fishing States should cooperate in organizations and arrangements. There should also be certain requirements for new entrants; technical assistance to developing countries to help them fulfill their obligations; and a comprehensive system for dispute settlement. Morocco said that accession to regional and subregional organizations should be mandatory for any State involved in the exploitation of the resources. The financing of each commission and its work should be based on contributions by member countries on the basis of value of catch, adjusted to other criteria such as GNP. [Return to start of article]