INFORMAL CONSULTATIONS: Conference Chair, Satya Nandan, prior to commencing informal consultations, outlined his programme of work for the coming week. He said he expected to release revised harmonized text of the Draft Agreement during the afternoon, and that a full text would be released Tuesday. He said informal consultations on the few remaining outstanding issues would be needed. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, and in the absence of consensus, he anticipated giving delegations a complete copy of the revised harmonized text 24 hours prior to any decision-taking. Consultations with the Secretariat, he said, had indicated that the Agreement could be opened for signature during 4/5 December when States Parties to the Law of the Sea meet during the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly.
Ambassador Couve of Chile, reviewed the Chilean proposed amendments, noting that in addition to previous support for his proposal, it was also supported by Argentina. He was especially concerned that: failure to respect the principle of confidentiality in data transmission might have serious consequences for EEZ management; non-aggregated data secured from EEZ waters is confidential and embodied in national laws; and, high seas data may also be submitted in a non-aggregated confidential form, by adopting the same principle that is contained in the Convention for the Conservation of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
In reply, the Chair noted two the reports of two technical working groups, "Ad Hoc Consultation on the Role of Regional Fishery Agencies in Relation to High-Seas Fishery Statistics" held in La Jolla in December, 1993, contained in document A/CONF.164/INF/10; and, Comments by the Coordinating Working Party (CWP) on Fishery Statistics on Annex 1 of the Draft Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks" held in Madrid during March 1995, contained in document A/CONF.164/INF/13. The Chair reminded delegates he had attended the La Jolla consultation and noted that the CWP meets regularly to examine ways in which fishery management bodies can harmonize the collection and exchange of data. The La Jolla consultation had noted that Annex 1 was the minimum standard that could be accepted.
On Article 1 (1), the proposal to substitute "shall" for "should" in the final sentence was agreed, but the sentence was later amended to read "Confidentiality of non-aggregated data and their dissemination shall be subject to the terms with which such data are presented".
On Article 2, paragraph (a) dealing with the principles of data collection, compilation and exchange, the Chilean proposal to substitute "and each seine for purse seine" for "purse seine" was the subject of technical clarification from the FAO and a number of technical experts present. It was agreed that "and purse-seine" immediately follow "long-line" and that all other reference to purse-seine be deleted. On paragraph (e) the Chilean proposal to include "Parties to this Agreement" after "States" was not agreed.
On Article 3, dealing with basic fishery data, substantial discussion evolved regarding inclusion of the FAO "nominal catch" definition and its formulation. Delegates agreed to amend the text to "total catch in number, nominal weight or both, by species (both target and non-target) as is appropriate to each fishery." Moving subparagraphs (d) and (e) to Article 3 (2) was not agreed, but the deletion of the word "scientific" in the chapeau was agreed.
The proposal to amend Article 5, dealing with reporting, was further amended to read "national fisheries administration and, where agreed, to the relevant subregional". A further amendment proposed by a DWFN to delete the reference to "high seas" was not agreed.
On Article 7, dealing with data exchange, and the proposed amendments, it was agreed that the text in paragraph (1) should remain. Delegates, after some discussion, agreed that the data flow charts should not remain as part of the Agreement text and that both illustrative diagrams be deleted.
In closing the consultations the Chair said it would be necessary to reconvene some further consultations to deal with provisional application. He indicated that a possible date for signature of the Agreement could be 4-5 December 1995.
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