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The question of applicable penalties was one of the most difficult and many delegates argued that the concept of proportionality is essential. Some delegates argued for sanctions against the master, the captain, the owner or the crew, while others called for the seizure of the vessel or confiscation of the gear. Certificates of competency were also discussed as a means of applying sanctions against the captain and crew. It was agreed, however, that it is difficult to make any broad statements in this regard, as the issues can be quite complex.

Another question addressed was whether a vessel suspected of violating regulatory measures can be confiscated until the flag State is notified. The cooperation of coastal States and regional organizations was also deemed necessary in terms of verification of the vessel, on-board observation, inspection, control in unloading, dockside monitoring, as well as aerial and satellite surveillance. Financial assistance might have to be given to developing countries in order to assist them in this regard.