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INFORMAL PLENARY

The Chair briefed the Conference on the progress of the informal consultations. Article 13, regarding enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, has been resolved. Consultations for Article 14, dealing with areas of high seas surrounded by areas under a single States' jurisdiction, did not run as smoothly and strong feelings were expressed on both sides. He expected resolution of this Article during the evening's consultations. Final text for Article 29, concerning the settlement of disputes, was accepted. The dispute settlement procedures found in the Convention are to be followed. On Article 3, addressing application, the Chair noted that paragraph (3) required further recognition of States' different capacities with respect to fisheries, and he expected final text during evening consultations. Final text was agreed upon for Article 8 (3), dealing with cooperation for conservation and management by regional and subregional fisheries organizations. The Chair said the agreed text should satisfactorily resolve the matter from all points of view. After extensive discussion, final text was also reached for Article 21, dealing with enforcement. The agreed text was circulated Wednesday morning and will be incorporated into the final text of the Agreement. The Chair stated that all agreed text will be incorporated and copies of the final text should be circulated by this morning. He said he intended to introduce the final text for decision on Friday. Malta stated his concerns regarding Article 22 on boarding and inspection by port States were not adequately addressed and would like the Article to undergo further review. The Chair said that Malta's concerns were met in the text of the Article as it stands, and that a boarding State must only notify a flag State where a violation has occurred.

The following provisions were tabled for further review during evening consultations: Article 8 (5)(bis), dealing with cooperation for conservation and management of SFS and HMFS on the high seas in regions where no subregional or regional management bodies exist; Article 6 (5), concerning application of the precautionary approach in instances where natural phenomena have adversely affected stocks; and, Article 10 (2), addressing coastal States' rights regarding the conservation and management of stocks.

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