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PART III - MECHANISMS FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CONCERNING STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS

ARTICLE 8 - COOPERATION FOR CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT: States shall pursue cooperation in relation to SFS and HMFS through appropriate subregional fisheries management organizations or arrangements, and shall enter into consultations in good faith and without delay. States that have a "real" interest in the fisheries concerned may become members of such organizations, and only those States which are members of such an organization shall have access to the fishery resources. The EU, supported by Japan, Poland and the Republic of Korea, distributed a proposed draft due to elements of imbalance regarding the activities of coastal States and DWFNs on the high seas, and stressed that the open character of membership without limitations must be recognized. Coastal States asserted that the text does not offer enough safeguards against the entry of States with no concrete interest in the zone. The US, Norway, Namibia, the Solomon Islands, and Australia for the FFA stated that the text allows for an appropriate degree of flexibility. A revised Article 8(3) was presented in informal consultations on membership and accepted. Peru and Uruguay proposed an amended version of paragraph (5)(bis) that addressed the concerns of some coastal States that failure of one or more States to cooperate pursuant to Article 5 should not interfere with the establishment of organizations or arrangements by other States in the region or subregion. The redraft was not supported by some delegates who stated that the requirement of cooperation is covered in Articles 8(1) and 17(1). Others agreed that the proposed changes did not strengthen the text and could be used to "opt out." States supporting the proposal said that it was not designed to create loopholes and not specifically aimed at DWFNs.

ARTICLE 9 - SUBREGIONAL OR REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS: In establishing subregional or regional organizations, States shall agree, inter alia, on the stocks to which conservation and management measures shall apply, the area of application, the relationship between the work of the new organization and relevant existing organizations, and the mechanisms by which the organization will obtain scientific advice.

ARTICLE 10 - FUNCTIONS OF SUBREGIONAL AND REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS: This Article outlines requirements for States in fulfilling their obligation to cooperate through regional fisheries management organizations; to agree on participatory rights such as allocations of allowable catch, agree on standards for collection of data, and agree on decision-making procedures. The Russian Federation disagreed with provisions regarding transparency in internal decision-making processes, and stated that there was a contradiction between the obligation of States and the rights and procedures of regional organization. The Chair, however, replied that the general debate and NGO interventions indicated the importance of the issue.

ARTICLE 11 - NEW MEMBERS OR PARTICIPANTS: In determining the participatory rights for new members of a sub-regional or regional organization, States shall take into account, inter alia: the existing level of fishing effort in the fishery; the respective interests, fishing patterns and fishing practices of new and existing members; the needs of coastal fishing communities which are dependent mainly on fishing for the stocks; and the interest of developing States.

ARTICLE 12 - TRANSPARENCY IN ACTIVITIES OF SUBREGIONAL AND REGIONAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS: This issue was one of the major concerns for NGOs at the Conference. The US made a proposal to amend the text with three objectives in mind: to assure that NGOs have the right to attend meetings of such organizations as "participating" observers; that records of the meetings, data and other information be made available in a timely fashion to NGOs; and that such organizations shall be barred from levying excessive fees that would exclude or prevent NGOs from participating. Some delegates expressed concern that NGOs would be given better treatment than States, but much of the proposal was eventually included in the text of the Agreement.

ARTICLE 13 - STRENGTHENING OF EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS: States shall cooperate to strengthen existing sub-regional and regional organizations in order to improve their effectiveness in establishing and implementing conservation and management measures.

ARTICLE 14 - COLLECTION AND PROVISION OF INFORMATION AND COOPERATION IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: States shall ensure that fishing vessels flying their flag provide such information as may be necessary in order to fulfill their obligations under this Agreement. The Article specifies data collection responsibilities, the duty to agree on format and analytical techniques, and the duty to cooperate to strengthen scientific research capacity.

ARTICLE 15 - ENCLOSED AND SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS: This Article calls for States to take into account the natural characteristics of enclosed and semi-enclosed seas when implementing the Agreement, and to act in a manner consistent with Part IX and other relevant provisions of UNCLOS. This issue caused considerable debate at times, with some States arguing that, due to geographic and environmental peculiarities in these areas, the special concerns of coastal States should be given emphasis. Delegates cited support for this interpretation in Part IX of UNCLOS, and a number of proposals were tabled regarding this Article. Consensus was eventually reached and the text was harmonized with the relatively weak wording, "States shall take into account the natural characteristics." This language was supported by a reference to Part IX of the Convention. The comparative ease with which this issue was resolved was partially due to the subsidiary place it had in relation to Article 16.

ARTICLE 16 - AREAS OF HIGH SEAS SURROUNDED BY AN AREA UNDER THE NATIONAL JURISDICTION OF A SINGLE STATE: This Article concerning "enclaves" proved to be highly contentious and resulted in a number of informal consultations. Much of the strong sentiment arose from conflicts over access to fishing in the Sea of Okhotsk. The delegates from the Russian Federation, whose national jurisdiction surrounds this area, and DWFNs such as Poland, squared off over questions of high seas management and unilateral action. At times debate was heated, and numerous references were made to possible unilateral measures including the use of naval forces. Proposals and counter-proposals were plentiful on this topic, again with an eye to the special concerns of the coastal State versus the rights of DWFNs in the high seas. Although the Russian Federation has bilateral agreements with many of these DWFNs, including Poland, resistance against global application was strong. The Russian Federation feared a possible repetition of the situation that occurred in the Bering Sea "Donut Hole," while the DWFNs stated that bilateral agreements were already in place, and questioned the international codification of an Article that could be seen to allow coastal State control over areas of high seas. Resolution of this issue came late Thursday evening, as the delegates from the Russian Federation and Poland finally received instructions from their Governments. The agreed upon text centers on, among other things: cooperation between coastal States and DWFNs; the adoption of compatible conservation and management measures; the rights, duties and interests of the coastal States; use of the best scientific evidence; agreement on monitoring, control, and enforcement measures to ensure compliance; and provisional arrangements in the event of non-agreement.

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