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SCOPE OF APPLICATION

One of the major points of disagreement was the extent to which compliance and enforcement measures will be applicable within EEZs. This actually led to a lengthy discussion on the mandate of this Conference. Is the Conference to deal with fish stocks lying in and beyond the EEZs? Should references to the EEZs be stricken? How is this to be considered in relation to the heading of the item listed in A/48/150 of 23 July 1993, "Provisional Agenda of the Forty-Eighth Regular Session of the General Assembly": 100(c) -- "Sustainable use and conservation of the marine living resources of the high seas: United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks" (resolution 47/192 of 22 December 1992). What is the responsibility of coastal States and distant water fishing nations with regard to compliance and enforcement. Beyond the legal discussion, some delegates argued that due to the nature of the stocks, jurisdiction cannot be divided along national boundaries. Rather, stocks need to be seen as a biological unit throughout their range. Some delegates argued that the issue of EEZ and high seas fisheries management is best dealt with in the section of the Chair's final report on compatibility and coherence between conservation measures for the same stocks.

There was also discussion about how general the guidelines should be. Most agreed that there is a need for harmonization of compliance and enforcement measures at the global level so that a broad framework can be agreed upon. Some delegates pointed out, however, that this could then result in the establishment of individual measures, such as quotas, for each region. The role of regional organizations should be strengthened so that they can play visible roles. In light of the outcome of this Conference, already-established regional organizations should examine their own operations.

The issues of flags of convenience, reflagging and fraudulent maneuvers on the part of the master were also highlighted as important matters to address.

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