In January, Canada hosted a meeting of like-minded states in St. John's, Newfoundland, to begin preparations for the UN high seas fisheries conference. Most of the countries attending were developing States with artisinal fisheries who were interested in the protection of migratory species and regulation of unauthorized excursions by distant fishing fleets into their waters. Countries opposed to such regulation or neutral on the issue were not invited. All participants endorsed efforts to obtain a legally-binding UN agreement or treaty to regulate fishing on the high seas.
Four discussion papers were submitted on: management principles; fishing by States that are not members of the regional conservation organization; surveillance, control, and enforcement on the high seas; and remedies for the violation of conservation measures. Finally, a report on the global overview of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks was presented identifying those countries with a highly migratory species problem or a potential problem.