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GENERAL COMMENTS ON REVISED DRAFT AGREEMENT

The Chair opened the Plenary late on Friday morning, by saying that he had been in informal consultations on Article 20, which deals with enforcement, and reported on those consultations for the sake of transparency. The Chair said he thought that delegates were close to a broadly-agreed text. There have been some questions of enforcement on the high seas by non-flag States, boarding and inspections, and the governing procedures. Australia said that foremost among the issues still to be resolved is the issue of enforcement. A satisfactory resolution of this issue is fundamental to the success of this Conference. Peru said that he had circulated two definitions, the first being that of a coastal State: "coastal State means, in relation to any State referred to in this Agreement about SFS or HMFS, the State or States in whose national jurisdiction, as well as on the high seas, these stocks occur". The second definition was that of a State fishing on the high seas: "A state whose nationals fish on distant waters of the high seas beyond the zones of national jurisdiction of other States". The Chair closed the session by saying that he would continue to hold informal consultations to consider questions of enclaves and enforcement. Brazil urged the Chair to make certain that comments regarding the entire text would be heard so that delegates would go home with a full and viable draft. The Chair asked for everyone's cooperation.