The question of applicable penalties was one of the most difficult and many delegates argued that the concept of proportionality was essential. Some delegates argued for sanctions against the master, the captain, the owner or the crew, while others called for the seizure of the vessel itself. Technical points of maritime law regarding practical issues of insurance were discussed as well as cases where the legal owner of the vessel had no responsibility for operation of the vessel. Certificates of competency were also discussed as a means of applying sanctions against the captain and crew. It was agreed, however, that it is difficult to make any broad statements in this regard, as issues can be quite complex.
One delegate argued that flag State jurisdiction might be appropriate when it comes to issuing licenses, but coastal States or port States will be more apt to control and validate the levels of catch harvested. Several delegates emphasized the need to distinguish between the functions of observer and inspector in order to keep the trust of the fishers and ensure a reliable flow of scientific data. Regional organizations could establish the rights and duties of such inspectors.
Another question addressed was whether a vessel suspected of violating regulatory measures can be confiscated until the flag State is notified. The cooperation of coastal States and regional organizations was also deemed necessary in terms of verification of the vessel, on-board observation, inspection, control in unloading, dockside monitoring, as well as aerial and satellite surveillance. Financial assistance might have to be given to developing countries in order to assist them in this regard.
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