The US supports the formation of organizations or bodies for the establishment of conservation regimes in specific geographic regions. The US supported the FAO's initiative to conclude a legally-binding instrument on the flagging of vessels. Sweden said that close cooperation between all States has to be institutionalized and management must not be ad hoc but ongoing. To give these regional and subregional organizations the necessary strength, they should have compulsory membership, firm international structures and financing from member States.
The Philippines agreed with Sweden that management of fishery resources is a permanent activity and an institutionalized mechanism should be set in place. Regional cooperation might be geographic or established according to the migratory species. The Russian Federation said that regional cooperation is the most adequate and appropriate way to resolve practical problems of conservation. This is most effective through agreements at the global level. The rights of coastal States should be strengthened and negotiations should begin to formulate objectives, timetables and solutions. Until then, if threatened, a coastal State can take unilateral temporary measures to preserve fish stocks.
Gabon warned against the proliferation of regional and subregional organizations. Tunisia said that existing organizations need to be strengthened. The EC said that regional and subregional cooperation is important and that organizations should be open to all interested States. Developing countries should receive preferential treatment. States have the right not to accede to organizations, but also have the right and duty to cooperate. Japan said that in existing regional fishery organizations, States should participate on an equal footing. It is the responsibility of both fishing States and coastal States to share in the financing of those organizations.
The Republic of Korea said that in II(b)(iii), membership should be open to all States on an equal basis. In II(b)(ix), new entrants to regional organizations could be of two types -- with or without previous fishing records -- but each could be given an equal opportunity to utilize fishing resources. Sri Lanka said that there should be direct cooperation through existing governmental regional or interregional organizations. Peru commented on II(a) (direct cooperation), stating that provisions should include alternative mechanisms. Norway said that in II(a)(iii) the objective of the consultations should be enlarged not only to agree on conservation measures but also on management, surveillance, control and enforcement. Norway also stressed the importance of II(b)(viii) on encouraging nonparties to join regional organizations and II(b)(x) on new entrants.
Argentina said that organizations should be strengthened through existing mechanisms. Peaceful settlement of disputes, assistance to developing countries, transparency, and open-endedness should be elements in regional organizations. Trinidad and Tobago said that institutionalized cooperation is the preferable option and that ad hoc consultations are useful where there are no institutions. Assistance should be given in establishing subregional agreements where they do not exist.
In II(b)(xi) Japan said that due consideration should be given to the situation of developing countries. Developed countries should transfer fishing technology to developing countries. Chile said that technical assistance should be provided for developing countries and that cooperation involves monitoring, control, and enforcement.
On II(d), Korea does not object to assisting developing States, but they could become new entrants. So, on the one hand, we would be helping them to develop and on the other hand we would be trying to prevent their joining. This is a problem that needs to be solved. On II(b)(iv), Korea said if conservation negotiations fail, unilateral action is permitted under the 1958 Convention. However, Article 89 of the 1982 Convention binds the States to negotiation.
Sierra Leone favors institutionalized cooperation with provision for ad hoc working groups to plan and strengthen programmes. Sierra Leone said in its position paper that the coastal States should be allowed to collect license fees from vessels fishing in the high seas adjacent to their EEZs. These fees could be given to the regional bodies.
Malaysia agreed with the Chair's document but said it is not sufficient to say what to do or not to do. Regarding II(b)(viii), the ASEAN experience is a good example of cooperation, even with non-member states. The EC said the basis of the obligation to cooperate should be different for straddling stocks and for highly migratory stocks, so two different articles should address the problem. In II(b)(vi), a share of financing can be based on either catch figures or correcting GNP figures. WWF said research carried out by regional organizations should not be limited to single species studies but more of an ecosystem approach. India favors institutionalized consultation on mechanisms for cooperation. In II(b), coastal States should have special interests because of the dependence of the coastal communities on these species. In II(b)(vi), financing should be based on per capita rather than GNP.
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