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INFORMAL PLENARY

On Article 6, application of the precautionary approach, the US, supported by the EU, Norway and the Russian Federation commented that the word "apply" in paragraph 3(b), in reference to guidelines, should not be changed to "observe". Malaysia stated that paragraph 4 is unclear as the entities that will have the final judgment and suggested referring to regional and subregional organizations.

Chile, supported by Uruguay and Peru, stated that the changes currently proposed by the Chair should remain in the text. Uruguay and Peru proposed a paragraph 5 (bis), which would apply when fish stocks are in danger of depletion because of factors other than natural phenomena, such as over-exploitation. Korea expressed reservation with the word "widely" when applying the precautionary approach, and suggested using the phrase "if needed".

Papua New Guinea supported the US proposal regarding the use of "apply" in paragraph 3(b), and noted that the new language in paragraph 4 is unnecessary. The Chair noted that the previous comment of Papua New Guinea regarding the change of "conservative" to "cautious" in the second line of paragraph 7 was incorporated. Namibia said, regarding paragraph 6, that the word "status" in line 3 should be moved to the end of the sentence for clarity. Argentina stated that the deletion of the word "widely" in paragraph 1 would upset the balance of the text. Regarding the proposal for paragraph 5(bis) made by Uruguay and Peru, he was unclear as to "other factors". IOC/UNESCO proposed the addition of "existing and predicted" to the last line of paragraph 3 (c) in recognition of the ability of science.

Mexico, supported by the Republic of Korea, supported the proposal of Peru and Uruguay and asked for clarification regarding "other factors". Regarding paragraph 7, he said the reference to catch and effort limits should be deleted. Canada supported the proposals of Peru and IOC/UNESCO. Peru clarified that the proposal deals with emergencies such as imminent stock depletion, and that the coastal State and DWFNs would work toward a timely solution using the precautionary approach. Chile, regarding paragraph 7, line 3, said that the difficulty for developing countries could be mitigated if it read "including inter alia, catch and /or effort limits". He also suggested the terms "as the result of over fishing or pollution" be added to the text proposed by Peru. Iceland supported the proposal of Peru, but pointed out the purpose could be achieved without the addition of 5(bis). Colombia supported 5(bis) and agreed that catch and effort limits as in paragraph 7 are excessive. Japan, in reference to paragraph 5, said that the measures should be applied to both the EEZs and high sea zones in question. The Chair stated that there have been far too many proposals and urged the delegates to "cool off". He pointed out that the issue in question was covered in other areas of the text such as Article 8(2) but thought the consensus was for further refinement.

The Chair further suggested: that the US proposal regarding the chapeau be accepted and the rest of the language in paragraph 3(b) remain; that the addition to paragraph 3(c) suggested by the IOC be made; that paragraph 4 remain unchanged; that Namibia's wording for paragraph 6 be adopted; in paragraph 7 "cautious" be exchanged for "conservative", and line three will read "catch limit and effort limit". Regarding the paragraph 5 proposal by Peru, he stated that it is misplaced and should be made into 7(bis) along with the proposal for 5(bis). He also stated that the description "such as over fishing and pollution" would be added to this for clarity. He said he understood the intent of the proposal, and with the assent of Uruguay and Peru would attempt an appropriate redrafting of the text.

On Article 7, dealing with compatibility of conservation and management measures, the Chair stated the changes made by the Secretariat to paragraphs 1(b) and 2 are editorial. Uruguay asked that at the end of paragraph 2(c), the term "as well as its reproductive period" be added. The Republic of Korea urged that the balance in the text between coastal States and DWFNs in paragraph 2(a) be made stronger. The Russian Federation said the term "overall" in paragraph 2 is unclear. He disagreed with the proposed deletion of the reference to Article 31 in paragraph 4. The Chair said a better term than "overall" is "stocks as a whole or in their entirety". He agreed that the reference to Article 31 is unnecessary, as all of Part VIII, dealing with peaceful settlement of disputes, applies. In response to comments by Colombia regarding paragraph 2(c), the Chair stated that "taking into account the biological unity and other biological characteristics of the stocks" might be appropriate because it is more general. The EU stated that they have serious substantive problems and reserved further comment on this article. He stated that paragraph 2(b) must be amended to make this article more explicit. Measures must also be applied through the most appropriate means. He further said that the linkages with Article 6 and Article 8 (2) are not being considered in terms of the overall balance of the text.

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