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FAO:

The FAO is expected to participate actively in the continuing negotiation process. The Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing, which is still under negotiation, will be submitted to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 1995 and to the FAO Council and Conference for adoption in 1996. States will then be in a position to adopt the Code unilaterally and integrate it in their national legislation.

The FAO, as requested in the final decision taken by this session of the Conference, will also be instrumental in the preparation of two technical papers in advance of the next session. One of the papers will deal with the precautionary approach principle. According to the Chair's closing remarks, a small working group will then be established to consider the issue. The Conference also authorized FAO to provide a paper on Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). The Conference will also examine this paper in a working group. Since there has been discussion of reference points other than MSY for the conservation and management of marine living resources during the last decade, which require consideration as well, the Chair asked the FAO to provide the Conference with an information paper on this matter. Developing States are expected to participate actively in the process and additional sources of funding might be necessary.

Beyond these efforts, the FAO is also expected to provide guidance and technical expertise. Whereas the mandate of the Conference covers fishing practices on the high seas, the FAO Code of Conduct is also meant to apply within the EEZs. Because the scope of the Code is much broader than that of the Conference, it might be used as a reference on which the participants can draw. Qualified scientific research can be expected to remain on the fast track, while fisheries management will be given less priority due to the specificities of this area. [Return to start of article]