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MORNING INFORMAL PLENARY SESSION

The Chair opened the meeting by inviting delegates to continue consideration of Section IX of the negotiating text, "Compatibility and coherence between national and international conservation measures for the same stock". The first delegate said that he had no difficulties in principle with the concept of conservation and management measures "equivalent in effect" on the high seas, but a question arises as to exactly what the notion signifies. He suggested the establishment of certain criteria which would explain the concept in detail. Another delegate said that the question of how to achieve compatibility and coherence within conservation and management measures on the high seas clearly differs between the straddling fish stocks and the highly migratory fish stocks. Still another delegate said that if there is no uniform treatment of the biomass, then there is no effective regime of conservation and management. The biological unity of the stocks cannot be subject to negotiations with regard to national and international conservation measures, but the principle of the biological unity of species should not undermine the sovereignty of the coastal States in the EEZs. Any fishing on the high seas has a profound effect on the management of resources in the EEZ. Paragraph 47 should be brought into line with Articles 63 and 64 of UNCLOS. One delegate said that UNCLOS provides for conservation and management of living resources in areas of national jurisdiction. Several delegates said that the first sentence of paragraph 48 should be presented as a separate paragraph, while another said that the internal logic of paragraph 48 should not be disturbed too much. Yet another delegate said that paragraph 48 should be reworded so that States fishing on the high seas in areas adjacent to EEZs shall cooperate with coastal States directly or through regional arrangements or organizations to ensure the long-term viability of the stocks. Some delegates said that paragraph 49 favors the coastal States, and more balance is needed in this paragraph. A delegate said that the concept of ecosystem management should be introduced here. One delegate stated that paragraph 51 could be strengthened by incorporating the duty to cooperate in conservation and management agreements, while another said that any change in this paragraph would lead to a legal vacuum. The deletion here of the word "voluntary" was supported by a number of delegations, since where there is no agreement, destructive fishing continues.

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