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IN THE CORRIDORS

While delegates consumed three hours of valuable conference time this morning re-hashing old debate over the preambular makeup of the Chair's revised negotiating text, a draft Convention on the Conservation and Management on the High Seas of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks was the focus of whispered debate by small groups of delegates in the corridors. The comprehensive 56-page document, devoid of delegation origin, constitutes a 27-page convention and an 11-page resolution and declaration, each accompanied by a table of contents and explanatory notes.

The first part of the document is made up in the form of a draft convention and is based on document A/CONF.164/13/Rev.1. It is presented in the form of an international convention that draws upon UNCLOS, the FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas and other documents tabled at the Conference. The draft convention consists of 41 articles contained in 9 parts that include general provisions, conservation and management, international cooperation, compliance with enforcement of high seas fisheries conservation and management measures, non-participants in subregional or regional organizations or arrangements, non-parties, special requirements in developing States, dispute settlement and final provisions. Four annexes covering highly migratory fish species, the precautionary approach to managing fish stocks, flag State surveillance and control measures, and arbitration complete the draft convention.

The second part of the document consists of a single page draft resolution calling for the adoption of its accompanying declaration. Both draft texts are based on A/CONF.164/13/Rev.1. The draft declaration consists of 4 parts made up of 14 articles. It is accompanied by an annex covering minimum data requirements for the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.

The document appears to represent a tool that promotes the Like-Minded position but without any indication of which delegation(s) will submit it or, for that matter, any provisional issue date.

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