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As the Conference mandate to address problems of severe depletions of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks enters its final week, some delegates are disappointed at the level of financial support for the Chair's Voluntary Fund. During 1993 and 1994, the Fund received contributions from Canada, Japan and Norway that assisted 14 States. Despite the Chair's reminder in his opening speech that unsustainable fishing practices cannot continue unabated, only Canada has continued to support the Voluntary Fund. Applications of 15 States are pending for this session, indicating an inadequate appreciation of the problems faced by developing States.

The EU has not contributed to the Voluntary Fund because of difficulties arising from auditing requirements, but has offered to reimburse certain expenses incurred by delegations in the context of the Lom‚ Convention arrangements.