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REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS OR ARRANGEMENTS

OBLIGATIONS OF STATES IN REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS: Even though the concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) works in theory, it is time to move ahead and leave the door open for application of technical ideas in the future. Subparagraph 1(d) on statistical data raised questions regarding the term "ecologically related species." A delegate thought that such a term could be abused and that this section should be more specific. Are these associated or dependent species? Yet, if one accepts an ecosystem approach, use of the term "ecologically" may not be too far off course.

Subparagraph 1(j), on deterring non-parties from undermining measures, engendered some reservations since it was suggested that the point is not in line with the rules of general international law. In subparagraph 1(k), the criteria of conservation and management are referred to as conditions for a new entrant's utilization of the resource. It was also mentioned that there should be special consideration for the needs of coastal States.

In subparagraph 1(l), it was mentioned that the statement of settlement dispute procedures being applicable to members of an organization who are not parties to the Convention is not in line with international law. Because of the peculiar nature of fisheries, concrete procedures and choice of dispute settlements is best done within each organization. Provisional measures should be taken during the negotiation period to preserve the stocks.

ENCLOSED OR SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS: Paragraph 2 addressed consultation with concerned coastal States when establishing a regional fisheries management organization with respect to an enclosed or semi-enclosed sea. Article 123, paragraph (d) of UNCLOS suggests that coastal States do not enjoy special status over States interested in fishing or participation in conservation efforts in an enclosed sea.

Some debate also occurred on what is meant by the precautionary approach. Some delegates voiced a preference for FAO to produce a paper on the principle before the next session of the Conference, while others thought that there should be informal consultations held within the scope of this Conference.

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