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UN DOALOS UN Fish Stocks Agreement Review Conference
UN Headquarters, New York | 22-26 May 2006
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26 May &
Summary
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Review Conference Addresses Monitoring, Control,
Surveillance, Compliance and Enforcement

On Wednesday, 24 May 2006, the Review Conference of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA or the Agreement) reviewed and assessed implementation of the Agreement's provisions on monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS), and compliance and enforcement. The drafting committee met in the morning and in the evening, to complete discussions on conservation and management of fish stocks.

Above: President Balton's stuffed lion, Ponce de León, kept watch over the gavel as Balton accompanied participants in their search for consensus.


Wednesday, 24 May
Plenary

Lori Ridgeway, Canada, cautioned against producing a "timid outcome," recalling that, at recent high seas fisheries meetings, ministers had rejected reforms that were seen as lacking boldness. She urged strong policy debates in plenary.

Kjell Kristian Egge, Norway, suggested establishing a global legally binding instrument involving all port States, based on the FAO model Scheme on port State control.

Famoudou Magassouba, Guinea, suggested that access agreements include an obligation for the fishing State to assist the coastal State with surveillance and monitoring, and emphasized port State controls such as vessel inspections and control of transshipments.

James Larsen, Australia, called for effective compliance and monitoring by flag States including through using logbooks, Vessel Monitoring Systems and observer records, and applying standards contained in UNCLOS and the FAO Compliance Agreement, Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries and International Plan of Action on Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing.

Serge Beslier, European Community, underscored the need for States to evaluate on a regular basis sanctions applied at the national level, and to exchange related information with other countries.

Joji Morishita, Japan, said he would cautiously consider a legally binding instrument on port State control, but called for a balance between a global, centralized approach and a targeted one.

William Gibbons-Fly, United States, noted that penalties imposed by many States are often not sufficient to deter violations, but instead become merely a cost of doing business.

Mozambique identified ratification of the Agreement as an important priority.

Latifa El Haddad, Morocco, highlighted active cooperation among African States, but lamented the general lack of resources. She stated Morocco's intent to ratify the Agreement.

Papua New Guinea, on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, highlighted the Forum's regional vessel monitoring system, a regional boarding and inspection regime and a regional catch documentation scheme for the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Commission, and called for RFMOs to exchange information relating to fishing registries and violations.

Ricardo Belmontes Acosta, Mexico, said that cooperative initiatives such as observer coverage and market controls were preferable to inspection and boarding, which should take place only with the consent of the flag State.

Tomas Heidar, Iceland, advocated that only States that comply with their responsibilities regarding flagging fishing vessels should be permitted to be considered flag States.

Karen Sack, Greenpeace, called for: a centralized MCS agency; a blacklist of vessels that have disregarded laws; legislation preventing transshipment at sea; and penalization of States that breach their flag State duties.

Peter Prows, Palau, welcomed the vessel registration and monitoring initiatives worked on by Australia and New Zealand.

Gina Bonne, Indian Ocean Commission, noted States' difficulties in MCS activities due to limited resources and their vast exclusive economic zones.
Drafting Committee

In the morning, the drafting committee continued discussing the revised draft text on conservation and management. Informal drafting on this matter was undertaken during the day, with some text remaining bracketed. In the evening, the drafting committee began consideration of draft text on strengthening the substance and methods of implementation of the Agreement's provisions on international cooperation and non-members.

Related Links

ENB coverage of the 1995 Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Stocks.
UN Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS).
Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) - Chapter 17.

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