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TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCH (TAC)

Japan said straddling and highly migratory fish stocks are different and the same rules should not apply to their management. Species should be dealt with separately, with separate guidelines. Peru said measures established for the conservation of these regulated species should be directed to optimize Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in accordance with the relevant economic factors. These measures should include the establishment of TACs by species, geographical area, season and fishing vessels, and use of procedures to reduce accidental bycatch of other species. The EC said that TACs have been applied for 15 years with good results. It is not an ideal system but it can be elaborated. Using TACs is an element of output regulation and it can be ameliorated by acting on the input, i.e., limiting the fishing effort through fleet restriction, the number of vessels and the time during which they can operate.

Japan said that all regional bodies set TACs throughout a species range if it is known. It is quite reasonable and appropriate to think of TACs as applicable to the whole range. Some highly migratory fish stocks are known to migrate through the EEZs of dozens of coastal States. If each State establishes its own TAC on account of its sovereign rights, it is likely that no TAC will be set up on the high seas.